Onnoghen shuns CCT, Olanipekun leads 46 SANs to tribunal

Justice Walter Onnoghen

The Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen, has shunned the Code Of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) where he was scheduled to face a six-count charge of non-declaration of assets.

Over 47 Senior Advocates of Nigeria with about 43 other junior lawyers have so far appeared before the Tribunal in Abuja in defence of Mr Onnoghen on Monday.

The defence team led by Wole Olanipekun, has appeared against the Federal Government’s prosecution team with only one Senior Advocate of Nigeria and four other junior counsels.

Some of the SANs appearing for the CJN that have arrived court included Olanipekun, Kanu Agabi, Chris Uche, Adegboyega Awomolo, Victoria Agabi, Sebastine Hon, Chukwuma-Machukwu Ume, Kehinde Ogunwumiju, Effiong Offiong, and others.

Meanwhile, the lead prosecuting counsel, Aliyu Umar, is a former Director of Public Prosecution in Kano State.

Mr Umar arrived the CCT at about 9.10am.

He was one of the senior lawyers appointed in 2016 by the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, as part of what was meant to be the government’s Special Prosecution Team.

The then special prosecuting team which appears to be technically disbanded comprised 20 SANs and 60 other lawyers.

Umar led the government’s prosecution team that was to prosecute the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, and his deputy, Ike Ekweremadu, for alleged forgery of Senate rules.

The charges were later withdrawn from court by the Umar-led legal team.