Court stops Onnoghen’s planned arraignment


The Federal High Court in Abuja has stopped the Federal Government’s plan to arraign the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, before the Code of Conduct Tribunal.
The Federal Government through the Code of Conduct Bureau filed six counts of non-declaration of assets against the CJN on Friday.
He was due for arraignment before the CCT on Monday but was absent from court.
But ruling on two separate ex parte applications on Monday, Justice N.E. Maha, ordered parties to maintain status quo till January 17.
Maha ruled in the two different suits that the defendants should be served with all the papers filed and they should appear in court at the next hearing.
One of the two suits, marked FHC/ABJ/CS/27/2019, was filed by incorporated ‎trustees of the Centre for Justice and Peace Initiative.
Those joined as defendants in the suit are the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami; the Chairman of CCT, Danladi Umar; the National Judicial Council; the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris; and the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki.
‎The other suit, marked FHC/ABJ/CS/28/2019, was filed by the incorporated ‎trustees of the International Association of Students Economists and Management.
The suit has as defendants Malami; the CCT, the CCB, Umar; and Idris.
While the ex parte application in the suit FHC/ABJ/CS/27/2019 was moved by R.A. Lawal-Rabana (SAN) before Justice Maha on Monday, the ex parte application filed in the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/28/2019 ‎was moved by Jeph Njikonye.
The applications were being filed before the Federal High Court in Abuja while the CCT proceedings where Onnoghen was being expected to be arraigned was ongoing.
‎Justice Onnoghen was however absent at the CCT proceedings, forcing the tribunal to adjourn till January 22.
But Justice Maha ruled at the Federal High Court on Monday that no steps should be taken in respect of the trial until January 17 when all parties to the two suits should return to court for the hearing of the plaintiffs’ motion on notice.
‎The hearing took place shortly after the CCT proceedings ended on Monday.