By Ikechukwu Nnochiri
ABUJA—Following a request from the Federal Government, Code of Conduct Tribunal, CCT, in Abuja, yesterday, fixed February 4 to resume proceedings on the non assets declaration charge pending against the suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Justice Walter Onnoghen.
The Danladi Umar-led tribunal, in a statement made available to Vanguard, disclosed that the Federal Government had in a letter signed by two legal officers at the Code of Conduct Bureau, CCB, Musa Ibrahim Usman and Fatima Danjuma Ali, applied for continuation of hearing on the charge against Onnoghen.
Onnoghen, who was last Friday, suspended from office by President Muhammadu Buhari, is facing a six-count charge bordering on alleged failure to declare his assets as prescribed by the law.
He was in the charge marked CCT/ABJ/01/19, equally accused of maintaining five separate foreign bank accounts, in breach of the code of conduct for public office holders.
In the statement signed by Head, Press & Public Relations, at CCT, Mr. Ibraheem Al-Hassan, the Federal Government, via the letter it sent through the CCB on Wednesday, drew attention of the Umar’s three-member panel to a ruling of the Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal, which cleared the coast for Onnoghen’s trial to proceed.
According to Al-Hassan, Federal Government’s request read in part: “This case came up for hearing of preliminary objection to the jurisdiction of the Tribunal on the 28th of Junuary, 2019 but the Tribunal could not proceed due to the pendency of the case at the Court of Appeal.
“However, in the wake of this afternoon, 30th Junuary, 2019 the Court of Appeal has thrown out the appeal.
“Consequently on the above, we urge the Honourable Tribunal to give us a date for resumption of the trial subject to the convenience of the Tribunal, Most obliged my Lord.”