Nigerian govt asks CJN Onnoghen to ‘step aside’

Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (Photo Credit: DailyPost)
Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (Photo Credit: DailyPost)

Aliu Umar, the Nigerian government prosecutor in the ongoing trial of Chief Justice Walter Onnoghen, said on Tuesday that the government wants the judge out of office.

Mr Umar, in his opening address at the resumed hearing in the matter, said Mr Onnoghen had been written, and wondered whether he had received it or not.

Mr Onnoghen was not present when the tribunal opened at 10:21 a.m.

Today’s hearing is the second since the matter first opened on January 14.

The Buhari administration accuses the CJN of failing to declare bank accounts despite being a Supreme Court judge since 2005, an offence that contracts the Code of Conduct Act and could see draw penalties if established.

Wole Olanipekun, a senior lawyer leading a team of over 50 defence counsels for Mr Onnoghen, said the judge was absent because of the cases that were instituted against the tribunal’s proceeding.

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A federal high court ruled last week that Mr Onnoghen’s trial be suspended, but government supporters have argued that the ruling was an anomaly because the tribunal has parallel powers as federal high courts.

They argued that only the Court of Appeal could issue rulings that would be binding on the tribunal.

The Court of Appeal fixed January 24 for hearing on the matter.

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