CCT under pressure to order Onnoghen’s arrest

Justice Walter Onnoghen
Justice Walter Onnoghen

The prosecution has applied to the Code of Conduct Tribunal to order the arrest of the suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, following his absence from the Tuesday’s proceedings.

Mr Onnoghen, like in the previous four court sessions, was absent from the CCT proceedings on Tuesday, the day the National Judicial Council and the Court of Appeal in Abuja are coincidentally sitting on his matter.

The lead prosecuting counsel, Aliyu Umar (SAN), made the application orally at the resumed hearing of the charges of non-asset declaration instituted against the CJN by the Federal Government.

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Umar, who anchored his application for Onnoghen’s arrest on section 6(1) of the Practice Direction of the CCT, also opposed the call on the three-man tribunal by the lead defence counsel, Chief Adegboyega Awomolo (SAN), to hear all pending applications.

Umar maintained that by virtue of section 396(2) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015 no objections could be raised by the defendant until he took his plea.

The prosecuting counsel said Onnoghen having not taken his plea, the objection by him could not be heard.

Meanwhile, the application for the arrest warrant is being opposed by Awomolo.