CCT Trial: Onnoghen Appeals Judgement

By Ikenga Chronicles April 19, 2019

CCT Trial: Onnoghen Appeals Judgement

Suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria(CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen, has asked the Court of Appeal, Abuja, to quash the judgment of the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) that convicted him of charges bordering on false assets declaration.

Onnoghen in the appeal filed on his behalf by his lead counsel, Chief Adegboyega Awomolo SAN, is challenging the decision of the tribunal on the grounds that the tribunal erred in law when it convicted him of all the six count charges.

According to Awomolo, the CCT erred in law when it dismissed Onnoghen’s application challenging the jurisdiction of the tribunal to hear the matter and thus occasioned a grave miscarriage of justice.

Awomolo argued that as at the time the charges were filed against him on January 11, 2019, he was not subject to the jurisdiction of the tribunal.

He further argued that the tribunal erred in law when it assumed jurisdiction having on January 9, 2018 in the case of Justice Sylvester Ngwuta affirmed the position of the Court of Appeal in the case of Ngajiwa and dismissed and acquitted Ngwuta of the charge.

Awomolo said the tribunal erred in law and acted out of jurisdiction when it ordered that the assets of the appellant be confiscated and therefore occasioned grave miscarriage of justice.

Part of the 16 grounds the appeal was predicated upon include the claim that the tribunal erred when it held that Onnoghen confessed to the charge framed by admission and used that as a basis to hold that Onnoghen did not declare his assets from 2005 when he was appointed Justice of the Supreme Court.

He wondered that the evidence of the defence witness did not create any reasonable doubt on the evidence of the prosecution witness that Onnoghen did not make declaration of his assets since 2005.

The appellant further wondered how the tribunal could convict him on charges of false assets declaration when the five accounts in Standard Chartered Bank were declared in 2016.

Part of the reliefs sought in the appeal however include an order setting aside the judgment of the tribunal on grounds that it lacked jurisdiction to hear the charge.

An order holding that the tribunal ought to have recused itself from the matter based on the allegations of bias.