The Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen’s legal team comprising a team of lawyers led by Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), has arrived the Code of Conduct Tribunal in Abuja to defend the CJN.
As of the time of filing this report at about 9.17am local time on Monday, the CJN has not been seen on the tribunal’s premises for the proceedings scheduled to start by 10am, the Punch reports.
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The charges were later then withdrawn from court by the Umar-led legal team.
In the meantime …
The charges and trials of CJN is dangerous and ill-advised
The Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, has urged the Federal Government to withdraw charges against Onnoghen Walter, the Chief Justice of Nigeria.
He also asked the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, to apologise to the nation’s judiciary, The Punch reports.
Ekweremadu stated this in the series of posts on his Twitter handle, @iamekweremadu, in the early hours of Monday. He described the charges as extremely dangerous for the nation’s democracy.He also emphasised the need to eschew every form of intimidation against other arms of government, especially their leadership. He said this would enable them to play their constitutional roles in the overall interest of the nation.The Senator noted that the integrity of the Nigerian judiciary remained intact despite obvious constraints.
He said,“I consider the charges against the Chief Justice of Nigeria, His Lordship, Justice Walter Onnoghen as ill advised and dangerous, especially after similar attempts at the leadership of the National Assembly failed.
“This is extremely dangerous for democracy and can only divide the country further as well as alienate us as a country very low in upholding the rule of law and independence of the judiciary. “I advise the Attorney General of the Federation to immediately withdraw the charges and apologise to the judiciary. We certainly can’t travel this road”.