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Over 50 SANs at CCT for Onnoghen’s arraignment

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Not less than 40 Senior Advocates of Nigeria are seated at the Code of Conduct Tribunal ahead of the arraignment of the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen.

But the chief justice is not at the tribunal.

Among the SANs already at the Tribunal and by Wale Olanipekun, include Kanu Agabi, Chris Uche, Yusuf Ali and Adegboyega Awomolo.

Meanwhile, the situation in and around the court is calm with some police officers strategically located around the court vicinity.

Justice Onnoghen was last Friday charged by the Code of Conduct Tribunal following an allegation of corrupt practice by a civil society group, Anti-corruption and Research-Based Data Initiative.

Speaking in defence of the absence of the CJN, former president of the Nigerian Bar Association Wale Olanipekun (SAN), who leads Onnoghen’s defence team, said the first issue to be settled is that of competence of the tribunal to hear the matter.

Olanipekun also argued that Justice Onnoghen was not personally served.

“We are not yet at the point of arraignment,” Olanipekun argued.

“The law is not talking of awareness. All I am asking is for the court to uphold the sanctity of the law.”

Earlier, the Chairman, CCT, Danladi Umar, had enquired from the complainant if the CJN was served with the notice of the arraignment and the answer was in affirmative.

Meanwhile, Olanipekun, who was making appearances for his client, had been interrupted by the federal government counsel.

His argument was that according to the recent rule, there should not be more than five representatives of any client in court at the same time.

But his argument did not deter Olanipekun as he continued with the long list of counsel in defence of the CJN.

Also present was the leadership of the Nigerian Bar Association.

The tribunal, however, refused to take record of their appearance on the ground that the matter is only between the federal government and Justice Onnoghen.


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