The Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) has adjourned further proceedings on trial of suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Justice Walter Onnoghen, over non assets declaration charge the Federal Government indefinitely.
The tribunal said its decision to suspend Justice Onnoghen’s trial was based on the order of the Court of Appeal in Abuja.
“In view of the Court of Appeal order for stay of proceedings and out of respect for the Court of Appeal, the tribunal hereby adjourn this matter sine-die (indefinitely) pending the determination of the Appeal before the Court of Appeal”, Mr. Danladi Umar, Chairman of the Tribunal ruled.
Two members of the panel: Danladi and Mrs. Julie Amabo, the third member, attended the sitting while the second member of the panel, Mr. William Agwadza Atedze, was absent.
Atedze had openly disagreed with the Tribunal’s Chairman over the procedure adopted in trial of the suspended CJN.
Umar, relied on section 306 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015, to reject a motion Justice Onnoghen filed for the tribunal to suspend his trial and await the outcome of his appeal. Whereas Atedze, relied on section 287(3) of the 1999 Constitution, as amended, and plethora of Supreme Court decided cases, to insist that the CCT panel ought to have respected four different interim injunctions that restrained all the parties, including the tribunal, from taking further steps in the matter. In Atedze’s absence, the CCT Chairman, Umar and Amabor, on January 23, issued the ex-parte order President Muhammadu Buhari relied upon to suspend Onnoghen and appoint Justice Tanko Muhammad as the Acting CJN. Meanwhile, security operatives, on Monday, sealed-off Onnoghen’s chambers at the Supreme Court, even as his administrative staff were barred from having access into any of the offices. Justice Tanko Mohammad, the Acting CJN, Muhammad, took over and presided over about 10 cases that came up for hearing before the Supreme Court on Monday. ffffff