Appeal court declines ruling on Onnoghen’s suit against CCT
A court of appeal sitting in Abuja Friday refused to rule on the status of the order of the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) suspending the former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen.
The CCT sacked Onnoghen as the chief justice of Nigeria and convicted him for false assets declaration on a six-count charge.
Nigeria President Muhammadu Buhari had suspended Onnoghen on January 25, citing an order from the CCT. He appointed Tanko Mohammed as acting CJN.
The appeal court in a unanimous decision agreed that the decision taken for the suspension of Onnoghen should not be so because justice should not be shrouded in secrecy.
The three-man bench led by Stephen Adah said the CCT’s ex parte order breached the ex-CJN’s right to a fair hearing.
It struck out the Onnoghen’s suit to appeal the CCT judgement, ruling that the substantive suit had been heard and concluded.
The court ruled that there was no need of challenging the ex parte order of the CCT which ordered Onnoghen to step aside as the CJN.
The tribunal in April ordered that he should be removed from office and banned from holding public office for 10 years.
Onnoghen appealed the judgement, seeking reliefs on 16 grounds, saying the lower tribunal lacked jurisdiction to entertain the case.
The former CJN also asked the appeal court for an order declaring that the tribunal ought to have recused itself from proceedings before it.