By Alex Enumah in Abuja
The Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) has fixed February 4 for resumption of alleged non-asset declaration trial against the suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen.
The Chairman of CCT Danladi Umar had at the last sitting on Monday, January 28, adjourned the trial indefinitely on the orders of the Court of Appeal, Abuja division.
The Court of Appeal order issued on January 24, compelled the tribunal to stay further proceedings in the trial of Onnoghen till January 30, for the appellate court to deliver its ruling on Onnoghen’s motion filed at the Court of Appeal.
However, following the dismissal of Onnoghen’s motion at the Court of Appeal and the expiration of the appellate court’s order which temporarily halted the trial, the CCT would now resume the trial on Monday February 4.
According to a statement by the CCT’s Head of Press and Public Relations, Ibraheem Al-Hassan, the CCT’s decision was sequel to a request by the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) for the resumption of trial.
The request, which is captioned: ‘Application for resumption of trial of the case of FRN V. Hon. Justice Onnoghen Nkanu Walter Samuel case No: CCT/ABJ/01/19’, and addressed to the Chairman of CCT read in part: “The above subject refers. This case came up for hearing of preliminary objection to the jurisdiction of the Tribunal on the 28th of January 2019 but the Tribunal could not proceed due to the pendency of the case at the Court of Appeal.
“However, in the wake of this afternoon, 30th January, 2019 the Court of Appeal has thrown out the appeal.
“Consequently on the above, we urge the Honourable Tribunal to give us a date for resumption of the trial subject to the convenience of the Tribunal, Most obliged my Lord.”
The CCB application, dated January 30, 2019, was jointly signed by Musa Ibrahim Usman (Esq) and Fatima Danjuma Ali (Esq).
The CCT had scheduled January 14 for the arraignment of Justice Onnoghen over alleged failure to disclose his assets as at when due.
But his arraignment could not go on on two occasions; first time, Onnoghen claimed he was not served with the tribunal’s processes, while on the second, he was not in court because he was challenging the jurisdiction of the tribunal to entertain the suit.
He is expected to respond to a six-count charge of false asset declaration against him upon his arraignment.
Onnoghen is specifically accused of failing to declare some funds in his domiciliary accounts with the Standard Chartered Bank, Wuse 2 branch, Abuja as at when due.