Onnoghen Appeals CCT Judgement

Suspended chief justice of Nigeria Walter Onnoghen has rejected the judgement of the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), which found him guilty of six charges preferred against him by the federal government.

In the judgement, CCT chairman Danladi Umar ordered that Onnoghen be removed from office of CJN and banned from holding public office for 10 years.

He also ordered the forfeiture of the money in five accounts which the defendant failed to declare as part of his assets.

But Onnoghen has filed a notice of appeal at the appellate court in Abuja to challenge the ruling of the tribunal.

The federal government was listed as the only respondent.

In the appeal filed by Adeboyega Awomolo, Chris Uche, Okon Efut, Ogwu Onoja and George Ibrahim, his counsel, the embattled judge said the tribunal erred when it dismissed his application.

“The appellant was at the time the charges were filed on the 11th of January, 2019, before the lower tribunal a judicial officer, and was not subject to the jurisdiction of the lower tribunal,” Onnoghen said in ground one.

In ground two, he asked the CCT chairman to recuse himself from further proceedings.

“Once an allegation of real likelihood of bias is raised, the court or tribunal will have nothing more to say except to wash its hands from further proceedings in the matter.”

In ground sixteen, Onnoghen said the tribunal erred when it placed on the defendant the burden of proving his innocence which, according to him, is a violation of section 36 (5) of the constitution.

“The onus was on the prosecution to prove that that the defendant did not declare and submit his assets declaration form to the Code of Conduct Bureau for over 11 years as charged,” he said.

Onnoghen thereby sought the following reliefs:

An order allowing this appeal
An order that the lower tribunal lacks jurisdiction to entertain the case
An order that the lower tribunal ought to have recused itself from proceedings before it
An order that the charge has become academic
An order setting aside the conviction of the appellant
An order setting aside the order for forfeiture of assets made by the honourable tribunal
An order discharging and acquitting the appellant


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