CCT to resume proceedings on Onnoghen Feb. 4

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The Code of Coduct Tribunal (CCT), in Abuja, on Thursday, fixed February 4 to resume proceedings on the non assets declaration charge pending against the suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen.

The tribunal, in a statement, disclosed that the Federal Government had in a letter that was signed by two legal officers at the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB), Musa Ibrahim Usman and Fatima Danjuma Ali, applied for continuation of hearing on the charge against Onnoghen. Onnoghen, who was last Friday suspended from office by President Muhammadu Buhari, is facing a six-count charge bothering on his alleged failure to declare his assets as prescribed by the law.

He was in the charge marked CCT/ABJ/01/19, equally accused of maintaining five separate foreign bank accounts, in breach of the code of conduct for public office holders.

In the statement that was signed by the Head, Press and Public Relations, at the CCT, Ibraheem Al-Hassan, the FG, via the letter it sent through the CCB on Wednesday, drew attention of the CCT to a ruling of the Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal, which cleared the coast for Onnoghen’s trial to proceed.

The appellate court had in a unanimous decision by a three-man panel led by Justice Abdul Aboki, declined Onnoghen’s request for his trial to be temporarily suspended, pending the determination of an appeal he lodged to challenge the competence of the charge and the procedure adopted by the CCT.

It held that granting the suspended CJN’s motion would amount to a “fundamental interruption” of a criminal proceeding before the CCT.

It noted that Onnoghen himself had in a judgment he delivered in a case involving a firm owned by former National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic (PDP), Chief Olisa Metuh, Destra Investment Limited, banned the grant of stay of proceeding in criminal matters.

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