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Published On: Thu, Feb 21st, 2019

Again, Appeal Court fails to hear Onnoghen’s appeal

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By Vivian Okejeme Abuja

The Court of Appeal, Abuja Division, had for the third time, postponed its hearing of the three appeals filed by suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) Justice Walter Onnoghen to February 27.
Justice Onnoghen is standing trial for alleged non assets declaration which is a breach of code of conduct for public officers, before the Code of Conduct Tribunal.
Before the Court of Appeal, Onnoghen, had three appeals where he is challenging the jurisdiction of the Tribunal to hear the charge against him.
He is also challenging the Umar Danladi’s ruling of January 14/in which it elected to hear all pending application.
The third appeal is against the CCT ex-parte order directing Onnoghen to vacate office as CJN and President Muhammadu Buhari to appoint an acting CJN.
The hearing, first scheduled for February 12, couldn’t hold because the court could not form a quorum for the purpose of hearing the appeals.
The court subsequently adjourned to the next day. It could also not hear the appeals on February 13 owing to a request by the Federal Government to be allowed to engage a new lawyer.
The prosecution counsel, Oyin Koleoso, who represented the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), told the court that the AGF has instructed that Aliyu Umar SAN, who is prosecuting the charge at the CCT) should take over the case of the respondent.
Kolaoso noted that Umar was, (at the moment the Court of Appeal proceedings were on), at the CCT.
Koleoso sought an adjournment to enable Umar take over the case of the respondent.
Counsel to Onnoghen, Chris Uche (SAN) objected to an adjournment, but he was overruled by a three-man panel of the court presided over by Justice Abdul Aboki.
The court further adjourned hearing in the appeals till February 20.
When the matter was called up, the prosecution counsel, said he has filed an application, in which he, among others sought to be afforded time to familiarise himself with what had been filed in the appeals so far.
In his reaction, Uche did not object to a request for a brief adjournment.
Consequently, the matter was adjourned till February 27.

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