- The Appeal Court has opened up as to why it ruled against the embattled chief justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen
- It would be recalled that on Wednesday, January 30, the court struck out the CJN's suit challenging his trial at CCT
- Justifying its decision, the Appeal Court said its decision was because the CJN's suit was not in line with the provisions of the law
All efforts by the embattled chief justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen, to stop his ongoing trial at the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) was met with setback as his suit at the Appeal Court was struck out on Wednesday, January 30.
In its judgement, the three-member panel of the court led by Justice Abdul Aboki said its decision was because the CJN's suit was not in line with the provisions of the law, adding that the section 306 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) has prohibited the suspension of criminal cases based on an interlocutory application.
Premium Times reports that an interlocutory application is a suit which is brought based on only a segment of a case, already before the court.
Shedding more light on why it struck out Onnoghen's suit, the Appeal Court also disclosed that the shred of evidences brought before it was not sufficient for the court to stop the ongoing trial of the embattled CJN, adding that the suit was brought on a vacuum, which could not be granted by an appellate court.
It would be recalled that the CJN had approached the Appeal Court after he was charged with crimes bordering on failure to declare parts of his assets as stipulated by the constitution.
He was billed to appear before CCT court on Monday, January 14, but his absence stalled the court proceedings with Justice Umar Danladi-led panel forced to suspend its judgement, having being told by Onnghen’s lawyers, led by Wole Olanikpekun (SAN,) that the CJN was not personally served with the court order.
Onnoghen was later suspended in a controversial circumstance by President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday, January 25.
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Justice Tanko Muhammed, who was next in rank, was sworn in by the president. The development has resulted to a more tensed atmosphere in the polity and created bones of contention among lawyers and civil societies.
Legit.ng had reported that human rights activist and lawyer, Femi Falana, had accused the National Judicial Council (NJC) of turning Walter Onnoghen's suspension into a circus show with the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) acting as if the former chief justice was being unjustly crucified.
Falana was at the high court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to attend to a case said: "The NBA is busy, mobilising lawyers to defend the Chief Justice. And the picture that I have seen in court,a very sad picture, reminds me of the trial of Mandela. The impression is being given that a freedom fighter is on trial. But, we all know that that is not the case here."
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