- More details are emerging on the trial of a former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen
- The former head of the country's judiciary was booted out of office in 2009
- Onnoghen has declared that he was not allowed to defend himself in the court case brought against him by the federal government
The former Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen said his right to a fair hearing was breached when he was accused of breaching the code of conduct for public officers and subsequently removed from office in 2019.
Television Continental reports via its Twitter page that the former CJN gave a detailed account of what led to his removal from office before his retirement.
He made this known at the unveiling of a book titled: ''Fundamental Rights (Enforcement Procedure) Rules, 2009.''
He noted that he was not given an opportunity to be heard during the incident.
This is the first time the former CJN will be publicly speaking on his removal from office.
Onnoghen was suspended as the CJN in January 2019 by President Muhammadu Buhari based on an order by the Code of Conduct Tribunal.
After his suspension, Onnoghen was subsequently replaced with the incumbent CJN, Justice Tanko Muhammad.
The former CJN recently lamented that he was removed from office without being informed about his offence.
The Cross River-born retired judge made the comment on Tuesday, December 22, 2020, during his 70th birthday celebration.
Meanwhile, during the birthday celebration, incumbent CJN, Muhammad, the president of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Olumide Apkata, and many other dignitaries paid glowing tributes to Onnoghen.
Despite the allegations of corruption levelled against him, the NBA president said the lawyers’ umbrella body remained extremely proud of Onnoghen.
Earlier, Legit.ng reported that a fundamental rights suit filed by Onnoghen seeking N130 million as damages from the federal government and the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) had been struck out by the Federal High Court in Abuja.
The ex-CJN had accused the federal government of violating his rights as a citizen of Nigeria.
The presiding judge, Justice Taiwo Taiwo held, among others that the applicant, N.S. Nwawka, filed the suit without Onnoghen’s permission, adding that it had no locus standi.
Jerrywright Ukwu is a senior political/defence correspondent at Legit.ng based in Abuja. He is a graduate of the Nigerian Institute of Journalism, Lagos and the International Institute of Journalism in Abuja. He is also an active member of the Nigeria Union of Journalists. He spends his leisure-time reading history books.