Chief Justice of Nigeria claimed not properly served, arraignment adjourned to Jan 22

WorldStage Newsonline– The high profile expected arraignment of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen at the  Code of Conduct Tribunal today in Abuja over  alleged non declaration of asset could not proceed as he was absent on the argument that he was not properly served.

At exactly 10am when the charge marked CCT/ABJ/01/19, was called up, Chairman of the Tribunal, Justice Danladi Umar, demanded to know why the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), was not in court and if he was served with the charge.

The prosecution counsel, Alhaji Aliyu Umar SAN, a former Commissioner of Justice in Kano State, whose service was employed Federal Government to led five other lawyers, told the court that the CJN was served through one of his personal assistants.

He told the tribunal that His personal assistant endorsed theservice, stating that he had been served.

Aside allegation that he failed to disclose his assets as prescribed by law, Federal Government in the charge that was filed by the Code of Conduct Bureau, CCB, equally accused the CJN of operating foreign bank accounts.

The prosecuting agency alleged that contrary to relevant laws regulating conduct of public office holders, the CJN, maintained a domiciliary foreign currencies account that comprised of Dollars Account, Pound Sterling Account and Euro Account.

The tribunal adjourned the case after the lead prosecuting counsel, Aliyu Umar (SAN), conceded that Onnoghen was not properly served with the charges and the summons.

Justice Danladi Umar of CCT, said he would hear the application challenging the jurisdiction of the tribunal to hear the corruption case together with the docking of Mr Onnoghen at the adjourned date of January 22, Tuesday.

Wole Olanipekun who led 46 other Senior Advocates of Nigeria and 43 other lawyers, told the tribunal that the CJN had filed a motion dated January 14, challenging jurisdiction of the tribunal to try him.

After initial disagreement between prosecution and defence teams on whether or not Mr Onnoghen must appear to be docked before the court, the tribunal chairman, Danladi Umar said the top judge must appear for trial.

Shortly after speaking on behalf of the CJN,  Wole Olanipekun argued that the top jurist had not been previously investigated and indicted by the National Judicial Council as required by law.

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