UPDATE: CCT Resumes, Chair Insists On Onnoghen’s Appearance, Adjourns
The Code of Conduct Tribunal [CCT] resumed after proceedings were abruptly suspended in the trial of CJN Walter Onnoghen
CCT Chairman, Danladi Umar, during the resumed proceedings, Justice Onnoghen to appear before the tribunal in person before any further businesses could be conducted in the case.
He said: “Under the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA), a defendant, who is served with a charge and represented by lawyers, must take his plea before raising any objection.
“The defendant has continued to stay away from this tribunal.
“I am going to grant this adjournment at the instance of the prosecution and defence, but must state that the defendant must attend court at the next adjourned date so that all the issues would be resolved in his presence.”
He later agreed to the request by parties for adjournment to February 13.
Proceedings at the Code of Conduct Tribunal [CCT] were abruptly suspended in the case against the suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria [CJN], Justice Walter Onnoghen.
Our correspondent reported that the proceedings were suspended following heated arguments between CCT Chairman, Danladi Umar and lead counsel for the defence, Adegboyega Awomolo, SAN.
Trouble started when the tribunal Chairman insisted that proceedings must continue despite agreement between the counsels.
It was gathered that the prosecution lawyer, Aliyu Umar (SAN) had agreed with the defence lawyer that the case be adjourned to a later date due to some recent developments in the case.
The tribunal Chairman, however, disregarded the agreement and insisted that hearing proceeds pending applications.
He even ordered Awomolo to sit down when the latter stood up to request that the position presented by lawyers to the prosecution and defence be considered.
He also accused the defence lawyer of time wasting.
It was at that point that Awomolo objected and challenged the tribunal Chairman.
The prosecution lawyer intervened and sought for a short stand down.
Justice Umar acquiesced.