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Appeal Court reschedules CJN suit for Feb 27

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The Court of Appeal, Abuja, has again rescheduled hearing on the three appeals filed by suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Walter Nkannu Onnoghen.

The matter will now be heard on February 27.This postponement will be the third time in one month that the appellate court would reschedule hearing in the appeals filed against the decisions of the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT).

Justice Onnoghen is standing trial for alleged breaching of code of conduct rule for persons serving public officers. Onnoghen, in his first appeal is challenging the jurisdiction of the CCT to hear the charge against him, being a serving judicial officer, while, in the second appeal, he is querying the propriety of the CCT’s ruling of January 14 this year, in which it elected to hear all pending applications.

The third appeal by the CJN is against the CCT ex-parte order directing Justice Onnoghen to vacate office as CJN, and President Muhammadu Buhari decision to appoint acting CJN in his place.

In January, the Court of Appeal had scheduled hearing in the appeals for February 12. However, when parties arrived the court, they discovered that the court for the purpose of hearing the appeals could not form a quorum.Two of the three justices required to form a quorum were said to be attending a seminar.

An adjournment, which followed for the next day on February 13, could also not be heard due to a request by the Federal Government to be allowed to engage a new lawyer. The court further adjourned hearing in the appeals till February 27.

When the case came up at yesterday’s sitting, the replacement Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) respondent counsel, Aliyu Umar (SAN), in a filed application, sought to be given time to familiarise himself with the case. There was no objection to the counsel’s request for a brief adjournment by appellant counsel, Chris Uche (SAN).


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Walter Nkannu Onnoghen
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