An Appeal Court in Abuja has dismissed a suit filed by the suspended chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, seeking a stay of execution on his on-going trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal.
The federal government is prosecuting him for alleged false assets declaration. Onnoghen had approached the court, arguing the CCT had no jurisdiction to preside over the case.
But on Wednesday, a three-man panel led by Abdul Aboki, ruled that the charges brought against Onnoghen were criminal in nature and that the proceedings before the CCT cannot be stopped. The judge argued that enough evidence had not been given for a stay of execution and as such, “order for stay cannot be made in vacuum”.
The court subsequently adjourned till February 4 for hearing on Onnoghen’s application challenging the jurisdiction of the CCT on the case. This means the tribunal can proceed with the CJN’s trial. The CCT had adjourned indefinitely pending the Appeal Courts’ judgment.