The Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) has adjourned the case against Walter Onnoghen, suspended chief justice of Nigeria (CJN), till February 13.
The adjournment was sequel to the application of Adeboyega Awomolo, counsel to Onnoghen. The ex-CJN was absent at the tribunal like he was on previous occasions.
Aliyu Umar, counsel to the federal government, did not object to the Awomolo’s application.
While Onnoghen challenged the jurisdiction to entertain the matter, the federal government counsel asked the tribunal for an interlocutory order to “cement” an earlier order given by the CCT chairman.
The CCT had ordered Onnoghen to step aside and asked President Muhammadu Buhari to swear in the most senior justice of the supreme court as acting CJN pending when Onnoghen’s case is determined.
At the tribunal on Monday, Onnoghen’s lawyer argued that the matter should be adjourned to a later date because Abubakar Malami, attorney-general of the federation (AGF), had petitioned the National Judicial Council (NJC) against his client.
“Our application is that proceedings be further adjourned, so it does not result in double jeopardy before the tribunal and the NJC,” he said.
“In the interest of of due process we want the NJC to look into this matter.”
The FG counsel said: “I ask that the matter be adjourned to Thursday.”
He also said the AGF “can discontinue the matter at the tribunal if he likes.”
Umar said if Onnoghen is not in court on the next adjourned date “he will ask for appropriate orders.”
However, Danladi Umar, CCT chairman, insisted that the pending applications before the tribunal be heard.
“I love you, they (appeal court) realise that I love seeing your beautiful faces,” he said.
In response, Awomolo said: “We have both agreed for adjournment, the tribunal cannot decide to take the matter out of our hands.”
At that point, the CCT chairman accused Onnoghen’s lawyer of “using delay tactics.”
After what appeared to be an argument between Awomolo and the CCT chairman, the federal government’s counsel prayed that the tribunal be stood down for 30 minutes.
After about 20 minutes, the CCT chairman adjourned the case till next week Wednesday.
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