Why chief justice was absent in court



The Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onoghen, was absent during the proceedings of the Code of Conduct Tribunal trying him for non-declaration of asset on Monday.

It was, however, not on account of the advice given him by the South-South governors.

The defence team led by Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN, said the CJN needed not to be present, having filed a motion to challenge the tribunal’s jurisdiction.

After a heated argument, the prosecuting counsel also conceded that Onnoghen was improperly served with the charges and the summons.

Olanipekun insisted that the law require that the defendant be served personally.

But the prosecuting lawyer said the law only required the defendant to be aware of the pending charges, and that it was the CJN’s choice to ask his aide to receive the charges and summons on his behalf.

He eventually noted, “By what the registrar has said, although the defendant was the one who directed his personal assistant to accept service on his behalf and what the law says is that he must be personally served.

“We agree that that the service should be properly done. The processes should be served personally on him.”

The matter has been adjourned till January 22.


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