The Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal on Friday held that the suspension of the former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, by President Muhammadu Buhari based on an order of the Code of Conduct Tribunal was wrong as it breached his right to fair hearing.
The Court, however, said there was nothing it could do as the suspension order, enforced on January 25, 2019, had been overtaken by events.
The court made its position known following a suit by Onnoghen challenging an ex parte order of the CCT issued on January 23, 2019 for his suspension from office pending his trial before the tribunal.
In a unanimous judgment by the three-man bench, led by Justice Stephen Adah, the court said the proceedings ought not to be conducted “in a shady or clandestine manoeuvre” as it occurred in the way the ex parte order was obtained by the prosecution.
Onnoghen’s case was, however, struck out on the grounds that the substantive matter had been concluded by the CCT, which ended in the ex-CJN’s conviction on charges of false and non-declaration of assets.