11: 11 am: Defence says all orders have been served on parties. Informs Tribunal of letter of 18 January 2019 in which 1st Order of FHC per Maha J was also brought to Tribunal’s attention
Defence further informs Tribunal of its Appeal to the Court of Appeal on the order consolidating the two pending applications
Says Court of Appeal sat on appeal yesterday and the appeal is adjourned to Thursday for Hearing of the Motion for Stay of Further Proceedings @ CCT & acceleration of the Appeal
Defence says that Prosecution told Court of Appeal that there was no need for fresh order in view of orders of the various High Courts
Cites AG Anambra v AG Fed, Pt 606 says that orders of Courts of competent Jurisdiction must be obeyed until it is set aside.
10:50am: Defence also informs Tribunal of Peter Abang’s Suit before the NIC where CCT Chair is 2nd Defendant and CCB 3rd Defendant and interim order of 14 January 2019 restraining Defendants from proceeding further with Hearing of the Charge pending determination of the Motion on Notice for Interlocutory Injunction
Defence informs Tribunal of 3rd Restraining Order from Valentine Ashi of FCT High Court in Inc Trustees of Foundation of Defence of Consumers Right v AGF & 6 Ors. Hon Chairman is 2nd Defendant in personal capacity & CCT Chair 3rd Defendant in official capacity..the Order mandates all parties to maintain status quo as at 15 January 2019 pending hearing and determination of the Motion on Notice
Defence informs Tribunal of 4th Order from Ekwo J of the FHC in which President FRN is 1st Defendant and CJN 3rd Defendant, CCT Chair is 5th Defendant. Ekwo’s order was made 21 January 2019 ordering parties to maintain status quo pending determination of the Motion on Notice fixed for 29 January 2019.
10;46 am ; Proceedings have commenced.
Defendant absent..Aliyu Umar SAN & 9 Ors for Prosecution
Wole Olanipekun SAN & 33 other Senior Advocates for Defence. Chairman is now taking appearance of the other lawyers—non Senior Advocates— for Defence
Prosecution says business of the day is arraignment and pending applications. Pending applications are 1) Preliminary Objection challenging jurisdiction of Tribunal to hear Charge 2) Application for CJN to step aside
Prosecution says its obvious arraignment cannot take place in Defendant’s absence says last time Tribunal couldn’t proceed due to Defendant’s absence
Prosecution requests that the Tribunal inquire whether Defendant has been served with Charge
Defence gives an account of last day’s proceedings differs.. Says he is not aware that business of the day in arraignment. Reads Courts record where is states that business of the day is hearing of pending applications
Defence counsel informs Tribunal that there has been in any case intervening events, draws Tribunal’s attention to Exparte Order of the Federal High Court restraining the Defendant and Tribunal from taking any step that will interfere with the Res of the Suit before FHC pending determination of the Motion on Notice. Says life span of order has been further extended to 28 January 2019 when Motion on Notice will be heard.
10: 40 am: *NBA PRESIDENT (Paul Usoro, SAN) HAS DIRECTED IMMEDIATE WITHDRAWAL OF APPLICATION SEEKING TO JOIN NBA AS AN AMICUS CURIAE , SAYING THAT NBA IS NOT AWARE & DID NOT APPROVE THE FILING, OF ANY SUCH APPLICATION *
1⃣The NBA Leadership learnt this morning that there is an application purportedly filed on behalf of the NBA, and seeking CCT’s leave for NBA to join the case an amicus.
2⃣However, the NBA President has written to the NBA General Secretary, directing that the General Secetary should ensure that the application filed to join NBA as amicus is forthwith withdrawn at the CCT proceedings today. And it must not be moved as NBA never approved the filing of any such application, for the following reasons:
The NBA President and the NBA Leadership were not consulted prior to the filing of such application on their behalf. The NBA Leadership was not aware of the filing or any plans to file the application and did not give any directive for the filing of such application
The NBA Leadership has mever taken any decision to file any such application, neither was there any resolution to that effect from any organ of the NBA National Leadership
That the NBA President and the NBA Leadership is not aware of any provision under the Rules or in law for such application.
That appointment of amici is always at discretion of the court or tribunal.”
10: 35 am: Prosecution Team led by Aliyu Umar tells CCT that FG wants Justice Walter Onnoghen to step down as Chief Justice of Nigeria and Chairman, National Judicial Council, NJC. Asks if accused has received the service. Prepared to file two applications if accused served #FGNVSONNOGHEN
10; 30 am: EMPTY DOCK AS ONNOGHEN IS ABSENT AT CCT: Proceedings kick off with CCT Chairman Danladi Umar and two other members presiding at resumed hearing of #FGNvsONNOGHEN. But accused Chief Justice Walter Onnoghen is absent at the tribunal for the second time.
10: 15 am: CCT CHAIRMAN ARRIVES, ONNOGHEN ABSENT: CCT Chairman Danladi Umar and two other members in court to begin proceedings at resumed hearing of #FGNvsONNOGHEN case at CCT, Abuja. But accused Chief Justice Walter Onnoghen is absent at the tribunal for the second time.
10;03 a: The application is couched as seeking leave for the NBA to appear as amicus curiae
Tribunal will sit at 10am as always.
Prosecution Counsel has just asked the CCT Registry whether there is an express positive order from Court of Appeal restraining them from proceeding with today’s business and they said No
09:55 am: SANs ARRIVE CCT: Senior lawyers like Chief Kanu Agabi, SAN appearing for Defence team; Aliyu Umar, SAN appearing for Prosecution Team; Joseph Gadzama, Wole Olanipekun, Adegboyega Awomolo etc all here’s at resumed hearing of #FGNvsONNOGHEN case at CCT, Abuja.
9;51am: Prosecution and Defence teams exchange greetings in the case between FG and Justice Walter Onnoghen as they await the Chairman of CCT, Danladi Umar to enter the courtroom and commence proceedings at resumed hearing today.
Information reaching TheNigerialawyer (TNL) reveals that Senior Lawyers, Police, and protesters have besieged the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) in the Jabi district of Abuja, ahead of the resumed hearing of the case between FG and Justice Walter Onnoghen, CJN of Nigeria.
TNL also learnt that Journalists are also in their numbers at Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), along aside Senior lawyers and other legal teams.
TNL recalls that the trial of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Honourable Justice Walter Onnoghen, over the allegations of false declaration was adjourned to the 22nd day of January, 2019.
Photo credit: Sumner_Sambo