Ernest Chinwo in Port Harcourt
An Abuja Division of the Federal High Court has extended the restraining order against the continuation of the trial of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen to January 28.
The Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) has however, served the charges of false asset declaration it filed against the CJN, directly at his office at the Supreme Court complex, Abuja.
This is coming as the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has accused the Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Amaechi, of being behind the plot by the federal government to destroy the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen.
Wike has also challenged Muhammadu Buhari to order an independent investigation into the alleged murder of the Kano State Resident Electoral Commissioner and his family through arson during the 2015 general elections if he has any integrity.
The Abuja court, presided over by Justice N. E. Maha, gave the order after a counsel representing the respondents told the court yesterday that his client had not been served.
The court ordered a fresh service of the court summons to the respondents and asked that the date of service be included in the proof of service before the next hearing.
Before adjourning the matter, Maha ruled that the order for parties to maintain status quo, still stands.
The implications of this order includes among other things that the trial of Onnoghen, scheduled to continue on January 22 at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), may have to be suspended, pending further directives.
The CJN is facing trial at the tribunal for alleged false asset declaration.
He was arraigned by the anti-graft agency, the Code of Conduct Bureau.
The CJN was charged, following a petition filed by a member of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
But several applications have been filed, resulting to court decisions suspending the trial.
After the FHC gave its interim order for the suspension of the matter till January 17 following two applications by civil groups, the National Industrial Court gave a similar order suspending the trial.
The applications in the instant case were brought by the incorporated trustees of two groups: the Centre for Justice and Peace Initiative, and the International Association of Students Economists and Management.
Parties expected to appear in court regarding the matter include the CCT chairman, Danladi Umar; the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami; the Inspector General of Police (IG), Mohammed Adamu; the National Judicial Council, headed by Onnoghen and the Senate President, Bukola Saraki
Meanwhile, the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) yesterday finally served the charges of false asset declaration it filed against Onnoghen, directly at his office at the Supreme Court complex, Abuja.
An official of the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), who asked for anonymity, confirmed that the charge and summons had been personally received by the CJN.
He said the CJN personally appended his signature to the summons when the officials of the tribunal took it to his office at the Supreme Court.
The official said the entire process was smooth as the CJN told the tribunal officials that he was already waiting for them.
The source said the officials that went to serve the summons went in company of some police officers attached with the tribunal so as to make the movement seamless.
He added that the rumoured siege on the CJN office must have been as a result of the presence of the policemen.
In a related development, the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has accused Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Amaechi, of being behind the plot by the federal government to destroy Onnoghen.
Addressing thousands of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) supporters during the party’s state campaign rally at Eleme yesterday, Wike alleged that the Minister of Transportation made the confession at a meeting with an APC chieftain in Abuja.
He said: “At that meeting in Abuja last Monday, Amaechi confessed that he is the person behind the illegal crisis facing the CJN. He bragged that he will destroy the CJN the way he brought Former President Goodluck Jonathan down.
“He wants to destroy the nation’s judiciary. This particular evil will finally consume Amaechi “.
He said Amaechi is notorious for the destruction of the judiciary, having closed down Rivers State judiciary for two years.
He wondered why Amaechi hates the judiciary, despite being a beneficiary of the vibrancy of the judiciary.
The governor wondered why Amaechi would say that PDP is a party of thieves when he was speaker for eight years under the PDP and eight years as governor under the PDP.
Wike stated that Nigeria has been liberated following the retirement of former Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris.
The governor called for an independent investigation into the murder of the Kano State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) and his family through arson during the 2015 general elections. He noted that Ibrahim Idris was the Commissioner of Police in Kano State when this ugly crime was committed.
He said: “The former IG, Ibrahim Idris, is a representative of Satan in Nigeria. He represented Satan but the prayers and fasting of Nigerians ensure he was retired despite plans to retain him.
“If Buhari has any integrity, he should investigate the killing of the Resident Electoral Commissioner in Kano alongside his family during the 2015 general elections. Buhari must ask what killed the REC and his family while Ibrahim Idris was a commissioner of police”.