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Appeal Court orders stay of Walter Onnoghen’s trial at CCT

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Justice Walter Onnoghen

The Court of Appeal, Abuja division, yesterday urged the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) to stay proceedings in the trial of Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Walter Onnoghen, pending the outcome of the application before it.

The three-member panel of the court granted the interim order filed by the CJN, after listening to submissions from parties in the application.

Onnoghen is seeking to stop the tribunal from arresting, arraigning and trying him on the six-count charged brought against him by the Federal Government.

Delivering ruling on the application for temporary order, Justice Abdul Aboki said: “This ruling is adjourned till Wednesday January 30. The tribunal is ordered to stay all proceedings.”

Justice Onnoghen, had in the suit prayed the court to grant the stay until the determination of the appeal against the order of the tribunal made on January 14.

The CCT had on the last adjourned date, ordered the CJN to proceed with its argument on the jurisdiction. This was in view of the subsisting orders of court, including the Court of Appeal.

The tribunal had ignored the Appeal Court order on the ground that it was not served on the tribunal.

Consequently, at the resumed sitting yesterday, Olanipekun took time to brief the court on the development at the tribunal, and how it dismissed the orders of four courts, including two from the Federal High Court and two from the National Industrial Court.

He therefore urged the court to order stay of proceedings on the matter at the CCT in the interest of the subject matter, constitution and the institution of the judiciary, and also prayed the court for an accelerated hearing of the appeal.

In his response, counsel to the Federal Government, Oyin Koleoso, urged the court to dismiss the application for lack of merit, as according to him, “if the appeal succeeds, it will not terminate the case before the tribunal.

“The grievances that initiated the appeal is no longer there. If their request were granted, how then would the application be taken?

The CCT had adjourned sitting till Monday after its chairman, Danladi Umar, declined to obey court orders restraining it from proceeding with the trial, the pending outcome of several motions in court.

His argument was that as a unique creation of the Constitution, it is bound by orders of courts of coordinate jurisdiction.


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