The court in a ruling on Wednesday, January 30, said Onnoghen’s request lacked legal backing as to why the trial should be stopped – In effect, the court ruled that the CCT can go ahead with the trial of Onnoghen over alleged false declaration of asset The Court of Appeal on Wednesday, January 30, dismissed the motion filed by former Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) Walter Onnoghen, to stop the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) from trying him, Vanguard reports. The reason for the court’s rejection of the former CJN’s plea was that his request lacked legal backing that should persuade it to honor his prayer.
The ruling of the Court of Appeal invariably means that the CCT can proceed with the trial of the CJN over alleged false declaration of asset. The court’s decision, read by Justice Abdul Aboki, said: “A court has inherent jurisdiction to grant stay of proceedings where it is certified that enough evidence has been given for such. Order for stay cannot be made in vacuum. It is a matter of law and fact.” Onnoghen had approached the Court of Appeal, seeking an order to stop the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) from proceeding with his trial. Onnoghen approached the court via his counsel, Chief Adegboyega Awomolo (SAN), on Monday, January 21.
Onnoghen sought an oral order stopping the CCT from proceeding with the trial. Awomolo said the order became necessary in order to preserve the subject matter of the case at the CCT. However, the request was declined by the three-member panel chaired by Justice Abdul Aboki. The panel ruled that no form of order could be made at this stage. The court said: “We are of the view that no form of order shall be made at this stage pending hearing of motion on notice.”
The matter was subsequently adjourned till Thursday, January 24. The counsel to the federal government, Emmanuel Omonuwa, had earlier in the day, demanded three days within which to reply to the motion on notice filed by the CJN.