- The federal government has reportedly asked the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Onnoghen, to vacate his office
- The government's move was allegedly as a result of the charges bordering on asset declaration proffered against the chief justice
- The report further states that the federal government will arraign the CJN before the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) on Monday, January 14
- Meanwhile, the CCT has also confirmed that Justice Onnoghen would be arraigned before it on the said date for alleged non-declaration of assets
The federal government has allegedly asked the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Samuel Nkanu Onnoghen, to immediately vacate his office as head of the nation’s judiciary over issues bordering on non-declaration of assets.
According to Vanguard, the federal government will arraign the CJN before the Justice Danladi Yakubu led- Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) in Abuja on Monday, January 14.
The newspaper reports that the CJN is facing charges of failures to declare his assets as required by law and for operating Bank Domiciliary Foreign Currency Accounts.
The charges against Justice Onnoghe have reportedly already been filed and served on him on Friday, January 11, at his official residence in Abuja in preparation for his appearance at the tribunal.
The federal government, among others, is accusing Justice Onnoghe of refusal to declare his assets in breach of the provision of the Code of Conduct Bureau Act.
He is also reportedly being accused of maintaining Domiciliary foreign currencies account which comprised Dollars Account, Pound Sterling Account and Euro Account which reportedly contravenes relevant laws, especially for public office holders.
Quoting PRNigeria, Vanguard reports that apart from putting the chief justice in the dock on Monday, January 14, a motion on notice is to be filed against him praying the tribunal to order him to vacate office and recuse himself office so as to prevent alleged interference in his arraignment and trial.
The federal government has allegedly engaged the service of a Senior Advocate of Nigeria whose names is withheld to lead the suit against justice Onnoghen.
The report further alleges that some eminent lawyers have also volunteered to defend Justice Onnoghen.
Meanwhile, an update from Daily Trust states that the Code of Conduct Tribunal has confirmed that Justice Onnoghen would be arraigned before it on Monday, January 14, for alleged non declaration of assets.
The head of press and public relations unit of the tribunal, Ibraheem Al-Hassan, in a statement said the arraignment was following an application filed by the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) to the CCT chairman on Friday, January 11, for the trial to commence against the CJN on a six-count charge.
“However, service of summons has been effected to the defendant, the three man panel led by Justice Danladi Y. Umar, will commence the trial on Monday, 14th January, 2019 at its courtroom, situated at the headquarter, along Jabi Daki biyu, Saloman Lar way, Abuja, at about 10am.
“The application was filed yesterday by the operatives of CCB, dated 11th January, 2019 and signed by Musa Ibrahim Usman (Esq) and Fatima Danjuma Ali (Esq), containing 6 count charges all bothers on non declaration of asset,” the statement said.
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Recall, in a related development, that the Senate president, Dr Bukola Saraki, was in 2015 arraigned at the tribunal but the charges against him were eventually quashed and he was discharged and acquitted by the tribunal.
Saraki’s discharge and acquittal was upheld by the Supreme Court under the leadership of Justice Onnoghen.
The apex court upheld the appeal in a lead judgment delivered by Justice Centus Nweze on Friday, July 6, 2018, in Abuja, ruling that there was insufficient proof to necessitate the trial before the CCT to proceed.
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