Falana Writes FG To Withdraw Case Against Onnoghen


A Lagos lawyer and Human Rights Activist, Femi Falana (SAN), has urged the Federal Government to withdraw the criminal charges filed against the suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen.
Falana said he made the request having confirmed that a petition had been submitted to the National Judicial Council alleging grave misconduct against Onnoghen.
In a February 3 letter addressed to the Attorney General of Federation and Minister of Justice, AbubakarMalami, Falana urged him to advise President Muhammadu Buhari to reverse the suspension because a public officer could not be removed from office on the basis of an ex parte order granted by any Court or Tribunal in Nigeria.
The letter read: “Since the charge of false declaration of assets was filed against the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen at the Code of Conduct Tribunal, by the Code of Conduct Bureau, I have repeatedly requested you to use your good offices to discontinue the case. My request was anchored on the case of Elelu-Habeeb v Attorney-General of the Federation &Ors (2012) 40 WRN 1 where the Supreme Court held that by virtue of Section 292 of the Constitution of Nigeria the head of any of the judicial arms of State and Federal Governments cannot be removed from office without a prior investigation conducted by the National Judicial Council.
“Having confirmed that you have since submitted a petition to the National Judicial Council alleging grave misconduct against the Chief Justice, I am compelled to request you, once again, to file a nolleprosequi to discontinue the charge pending against his Lordship at the Code of Conduct Tribunal without any further delay.