Supreme Court strikes out suit filed by C’River state government

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The Supreme Court of Nigeria on Friday struck out a suit filed by the Cross River State Government to confront the suspension of the former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen.

The judgment by the Supreme Court held that the Cross River State Government lacked the grounds to institute the suit on behalf of Onnoghen and it was prepared by Justice Olulayode Ariwoola.

Justice Olabode Rhodes-Vivour who led the five-man panel also held that the Supreme Court was not the appropriate medium to air out whatever complaint the plaintiff might have in relation with the case.

Therefore, Justice Ariwoola struck out the case by upholding the Attorney-General of the Federation’s preliminary objection filed that the Supreme Court lacked jurisdiction to hear the case.

However, Ariwoola was not present for the Friday’s proceedings but according to reports his judgment was read by Justice Paul Galinje, a non-member of the panel.

Meanwhile, Justice Mary Peter-Odilli, another member of the panel, held a contrast view from the majority judgment, submitting that Cross Rivers State, where Onnoghen hails from possessed the impetus to institute the suit adding that the Supreme Court was an appropriate forum to file the suit.

She ruled that the January 23, 2019 order issued by the Code of Conduct Tribunal on which President Muhammadu Buhari acted on to suspend‎ Onnoghen was wrong as the tribunal had no jurisdiction to consider the charges instituted against the former CJN in the first place.

She held that the CCT lacked jurisdiction to ‎hear the false and non-declaration of assets charges instituted against Onnoghen as he was not firstly disciplined by the National Judicial Council.

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