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Court Rejects Onnoghen’s Request To Stop Trial At CCT

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By Bukola Olasanmi

The Court of Appeal has dismissed a request brought by suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen, for a stay of proceedings in his trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal.

The court in a ruling on Wednesday said the request brought by Mr Onnoghen “was brought in a vacuum,” without a proper backing of legal provisions why it should have been granted.

According to the appellate court, Mr Onnoghen’s lawyers had argued that their application was brought because the tribunal, on January 14 refused to entertain their request challenging the jurisdiction of the court with other motions before proceeding with the main trial.

The court, however, read through the words used during the January 14 adjournment of the tribunal wherein the CCT slated January 22 for hearing of motions in the matter.

“Matter is hereby adjourned till Tuesday. Motions to be taken,” said Justice Abdul Aboki while reading through the tribunal’s ruling on January 14.

“The above stated decision is an adjournment for motions filed by the two parties,” the appeal court ruled.

According to the appellate court, the words used by the tribunal did not suggest the submissions made by the applicant. The court questioned the likelihood of its jurisdiction to grant such order as requested, given the evidence before it.

“A court has inherent jurisdiction to grant stay of proceedings where it is certified that enough evidence has been given for such,” said Mr Aboki who read the ruling with two other judges.

“Order for stay cannot be made in vacuum. It is a matter of law and fact,” the court ruled.

The court therefore decided that the application for stay of proceedings will not be granted and subsequently refused it.

The ruling implies that the CCT can now proceed with the trial of the chief justice for alleged false asset declaration. The CCT had postponed the trial based on last week’s directive of the appeal court.

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Support our journalism with a contribution of any size

Nigeria's media space is swamped with falsehood, deceit and delusion. Just a handful abides by the truth. TheNigerian is one of the unique platforms helping to shape the global narrative about Nigeria and her citizens across the world. It's quite costly to maintain this brand of journalism, however.

Readers from around the world, like you, make TheNigerian's work possible. We need your support to deliver quality, investigative journalism – and to keep it open for everyone. At a time when factual, honest reporting is critical, your support is essential in protecting our editorial independence. Every contribution, however big or small, is so valuable for our future.

Our brand of professional citizens' journalism requires a contribution from members of the public, patronage and sponsorship to thrive. We rely on this financial support to be able to carry out our numerous obligations of training, running cost, production, printing and general services. We also embark on Corporate Social Responsibilities through educational programs on our TV, newspaper and blogs.

Make a token donation to support us:
Account Name: Patriot and Sage Digital Communication Ltd
Account No: 1015619537
Bank Name: Zenith Bank

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