ABUJA – The Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal, on Wednesday, refused to stop further proceedings in the six-count charge the Federal Government initiated against the suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Justice Walter Onnoghen.
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Rather, the appellate court, in a unanimous decision by a three-man panel of Justices led by Justice Abdul Aboki, ordered accelerated hearing of the case against Onnoghen.
Aside dismissing the appeal challenging the decision of the Mr. Danladi Umar-led CCT panel to hear Onnoghen’s preliminary objection to his trial, alongside a motion FG filed to temporarily remove him from office, the appellate court, vacated its ealier order that halted further proceedings on the matter.
The appellate court noted that Onnoghen himself had in a judgment he delivered in a case involving a firm owned by former National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic, PDP, Chief Olisa Metuh, Destra Investment Limited, banned the grant of stay of proceeding in criminal matters.
It further recalled that the suspended CJN had in another case that involved the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, identified the CCT as a tribunal that has quasi-criminal jurisdiction.
Therefore, the appellate court, held that since section 306 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015, expressly forbade the grant of stay of proceeding in criminal cases, it said the CCT was bound to abide by provisions of the criminal law.