Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) Justice Walter Onnoghen, yesterday, was unable to convince the Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja to stop the Code of Conduct Tribunal, CCT, from proceeding with his planned arraignment today.
The appellate court, in a ruling by a three-man panel of justices, said it would desist from making such order pending the hearing of an appeal the CJN wedged to challenge the six-count charge the Federal Government levelled against him before the CCT.
Onnoghen through his team of lawyers, led by Chief Adegnoyega Awomolo, SAN, had made an oral application for the Court of Appeal to halt the CCT from going ahead with plans to dock him on the six-count criminal charge Federal Government entered against him, pending the determination of his appeal.
Awomolo applied for order to stop the CCT trial, after Federal Government’s lawyer, Mr. Emmanuel Omonuwa, insisted that he would need three days to respond to the CJN’s appeal.
Omonuwa told the court that he was only served the processes yesterday morning, and stated that his appearance in court was out of respect for the judiciary.
He, therefore, applied for a short adjournment to enable him file a reply to the CJN’s motion.
Meanwhile, counsel to CJN, Awolowo, SAN urged the court to order the CCT to keep the proceedings on suspension pending the disposal of the appeal.
However, the appellate court panel, led by Justice Abdul Aboki, after a brief meeting among themselves declined the request. Justice Aboki said “We are of the view that no form of order shall be made at his stage pending hearing of motion on notice adjourned till January 24”.
The Federal Government was cited as the only respondent in the appeal.
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