UPDATE! Judgment On Onnoghen Was Planned And Not Constitutional, SAN Reveals As Onnoghen Heads To Appeal Court

The leader of the defence team of former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, Mr. Okon Efut (SAN), at the judgment proceedings of the Code of Conduct Tribunal on Thursday, has just given an indication that the conviction of the former CJN would be appealed at the Court of Appeal.

Efut made this known while addressing newsmen on the premises of the CCT after judgment was passed on Justice Onnoghen on Thursday, Efut said, “We know that all is not over in this matter. The wheel of justice grinds slowly. It grinds slowly but surely. But this is not a matter that will end here.

“We shall avail ourselves of all the processes and the hierarchy of the judiciary.”

He further described as unconstitutional, the judgment which was handed on his client adding that it was in breach of the ex-CJN’s right to having a fair hearing.

He said as well that the judgment was premeditated, stating that it had been passed as far back as January 23 when the tribunal ordered that Onnoghen be suspended without hearing him.

He said, “The conviction is unconstitutional. It is a breach of fair hearing.

“Before this day, on January 23, 2019, the same judgment had been passed, removing the Chief Justice of Nigeria without fair hearing.

“So, it was fait accompli, it was premeditated. Judgment has been passed before today. Today’s judgment is just a formality.

Callistus Ewelike /OTU/ICE/NAN

“We hold the view that the tribunal has not only breached the Constitution of Nigeria, it has breached the fundamental principles of natural justice, equity and good conscience.

“It has not only been able to pass judgment, it has convicted on an offence that was never charged.

“This is an erosion of the fundamental principles of our Constitution and until some questions are answered, for instance, why is it that the due course of justice was not allowed to flow?”

The Danladi Umar-led CCT, had earlier declared Onnoghen guilty and convicted him on charges of breach of code of conduct for public officers by failing to declare five bank accounts containing huge sums of money as part of his assets.

Source: Punch

The tribunal therefore went on to order as punishment, the removal of Onnoghen as the CJN, chairman of both the National Judicial Council and also the Federal Judicial Service Commission.

Onnoghen was also banned by the CCT from holding public office for the next 10 years, and was ordered to forfeit the money found in all the five bank accounts he was said to have failed to declare.


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