Onnoghen Snubs CCT As 87 Lawyers, 30 Of Them SANs Storm Tribunal For CJN As Trial Begins
The proceedings of the scheduled arraignment of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, has started but he is nowhere to be found.
The members of the Danladi Umar-led three-man tribunal arrived in the courtroom at exactly 10am.
At 10.01am, the matter was called.
The court official who announced the case observed that CJN was not present and then notified the tribunal chairman of the development.
After the lead prosecuting counsel, Mr. Aliyu Umar (SAN), announced his appearance, the tribunal asked the court official whether the CJN had been served with the charges and summons.
The court official confirmed that the CJN was served through his personal assistant.
He said, “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.”
About 30 SANs led by Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN) with about 47 other lawyers, making about 87 were on record as appearing for the CJN on Monday.
A team of lawyers led by Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), has arrived the Code Conduct Tribunal in Abuja to defend the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, who is scheduled for arraignment before the tribunal in the Monday’s proceedings.
As of the time of filing this report at about 11:57am local time on Monday, the CJN has not been seen on the tribunal’s premises for the proceedings scheduled to start by 10am.
Some Senior Advocates of Nigeria in his defence team who were already seated before 9am awaiting the commencement of the proceedings included, Chief Chris Uche, Chief Adegboyega Awomolo, Sebastine Hon, Chukwuma-Machukwu Ume, Kehinde Ogunwumiju,and A.T Kehinde.
All the senior lawyers are in court with their teeming juniors.
But the team of lawyers comprising a handful of senior lawyers and other junior ones has been technically disbanded.
Meanwhile, a former Director of Public Prosecution in Kano State, Aliyu Umar (SAN), is going to lead the government prosecution’s team.
Umar arrived the CCT at about 9.10am.
He was one of the senior lawyers appointed by the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami (SAN), as part of what was meant to be the government’s prosecution team in 2016.
Umar led the government’s prosecution team that was to prosecute the Senate President Bukola Saraki and his deputy, Ike Ekweremadu for alleged forgery of Senate rules.
The charges were later withdrawn from court by the Umar-led legal team.