CJN Walter Onnoghen’s Trial Adjourned To January 22

The Danladi Umar-led Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) has adjourned the trial of Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Walter Onnoghen till January 22.

This followed the insistence by lead defence counsel, Chief Wole Olanipekun SAN that the defendant was not properly served with the charges and summons.
The court official who announced the case with number CCT/ABJ/01/19 had told the court that Onnoghen was served through his personal assistant.

“He was served through his personal assistant. We went to his house and the defendant directed his personal assistant to collect the charge on his behalf.

“So the defendant has been served,” the court official said.

But responding, the lead defence counsel states that the procedure for service was not adhered to based on the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA), insisting that Onnoghen was not personally served and he ought to be served.

He further argued that the CCT lacked jurisdiction to hear the case.

The CCT Chairman asked Olanipekun if he was saying that the CJN was not aware of the case as widely publicised but the defence counsel insisted that the law must be followed and not hearsay.

The lead prosecution counsel, Aliyu Umar (SAN) stated that service was to done the CJNs Personal Assistant and there was no reason why the accused Justice Walter Onnoghen should not be in court for arraignment so he could plead guilty or not guilty.

Responding, the defence counsel said that the defence was stating the position of the law and not feelings or thinking as the prosecutor is making the court to believe.

He also reiterated that there was an interlocutory applicatn pending before the CCT that it has no jurisdiction to hear case against Onnoghen.

The courtroom however became noisy as the CCT Chairman asked that Onnoghen be served by Wednesday, January 16 so that trial could commence on Thursday, January 17 as requested by the prosecution, which the defence counsel objected to.

Olanipekun argued that the time was too short for proper service to be done on the defendant, and asked for January 28th.

The tribunal chairman however adjourned the court to Tuesday, January 22 for proper service and appearance of Justice Walter Onnoghen.

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