By Joshua Osaro
The Federal Government will on Monday next week arraign the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen in Abuja for failing to declare his assets before the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT).
Justice Onnoghen was appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2017 after Nigerians pressurized the federal government for delaying the appointment.
The CJN would be arraigned on six-count charge with all bordering on non-declaration of assets.
A Statement by the CCT Head, Press & Public Relations, Mr. Ibraheem Al-Hassan said a three-man panel headed by Danladi Umar would try the nation’s number one judge.
Al-Hassan said the arraignment of Onnoghen followed an application filed by the Code of Conduct Bureau for leave to commence the case against the CJN
He added that the application was filed on Friday and summons for the Monday’s proceedings had been served on the CJN.
According to the statement, “The Code of Conduct Tribunal has scheduled Monday, January 14, 2019 for the commencement of trial against current Chief Justice of Nigeria, Hon Justce Onnoghen Nkanu Walter Samuel for alleged non-declaration of assets.
“This was consequent to an application filed by the Code of Conduct Bureau to the CCT Chairman yesterday (Friday) for the trial to commence against the Chief Justice of Nigeria on six charges.
“However, service of summons has been effected to the defendant.
“The three-man panel led by Justice Danladi Y. Umar, will commence the trial on Monday, January 14, 2019 at its courtroom, situated at the headquarter, along Jabi Daki biyu, Saloman Lar way, Abuja, at 10:00am.
“The application was filed yesterday by the operatives of CCB, dated January 11, 2019 and signed by Musa Ibrahim Usman (Esq) and Fatima Danjuma Ali (Esq), containing six charges all bordering on non-declaration of assets.”
The Buhari-led administration has also tried the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, for similar offence but the former Kwara State governor defeated the federal government at the Supreme Court.
This is the first time a Nigerian CJN would be tried for criminal offence while still serving as the nation’s number judge.