The Abuja Court of Appeal has fixed Thursday, January 24, for hearing in the appeal filed by the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen against his planned trial before the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT).
The court adjourned after hearing preliminary submissions from lawyers to the CJN, Adegboyega Awomelo (SAN) and Emmanuel Omonuwa, Director, Civil Litigations, Federal Ministry of Justice for the respondent, the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The three- man panel of the Appellate Court led by Justice Abdu Aboki said the court was principally adjourned for the hearing of a motion on nutria filed by the CJN for an injunction restraining the CCT from conducting further proceedings in respect of the charge against him pending the determination of the appeal.
The CJN’s appeal which has the Federal Republic of Nigeria as the sole respondent was challenging the order made by the CCT on January 14 this year for the hearing of two applications one of which was filled by the prosecution seeking to compel the CJN to vacate office pending the conclusion of his trial and the other challenging the tribunal injunction.
At the court session Monday, counsel to the CJN, Adegboyega Awomelo identified various sets of documents filled on January 18 by the appellant including a motion ex-parte, motion on notice for injunction and a notice of appeal.
Awomelo said since the respondent was represented in court, the judges could make do without the hearing of the motion ex-parte and continue with the hearing on the motion on notice.
Responding, Emmanuel Omonuwa sought for a short adjournment to enable him respond to the motion pleading for three days to enable him file in a counter affidavit.
Awomelo further stated that it was within the right of the respondent to be allowed to respond to a motion served on him agreeing to the plea of adjournment.
He, however, prayed the court to order both parties to refrain from taking steps in respect of the charge before the CCT pending the day of hearing.
Lady Godknows Ogbulu