The Court of Appeal in Abuja has suspended the proceedings of the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) on the alleged false asset declaration against the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen.
A three-man panel of justices presided by Justice Abdul Aboki yesterday said the suspension is to enable the appellate court rule on the application by the CJN for a stay of proceedings at the CCT.
Meanwhile, the appellate court has fixed Wednesday, January 30 for ruling on the application.
The CCT chairman, Justice Danladi Umar had on Monday fixed January 28 for determination of the CJN’s application challenging its jurisdiction to hear the case.
The decision of the Court of Appeal followed the argument of the application for stay by CJN Onnoghen’s counsel, Wole Olanipekun (SAN) and the counter affidavit by the counsel from the office of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Oyin Koleoso.
Olanipekun had requested the appellate court to stay further proceedings in the case against the CJN before the CCT until the determination of the appeal.
“The law is trite once records of appeal are transmitted, this court is seized of the matter. Your lordship should order a stay of proceedings and also order accelerated hearing in this appeal,” he said.
But Koleoso asked the court to dismiss the application arguing that staying the matter cannot terminate the case before the CCT and therefore “the success of the stay of the proceeding will be of no utilitarian value to the applicant.”
The Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) filed a six-count charge against the CJN before the CCT over alleged failure to declare his asset upon assumption of office as provided in Section 15 (1) of the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act C15, punishable under Section 23 (2) (a) (b) and (c) of the same Act.