Court of Appeal rules Onnoghen’s suspension by CCT breached his right to fair hearing

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The Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal has struck out an appeal by the ex-Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, challenging an ex parte order of the Code of Conduct Tribunal issued on January 23, 2019, for his suspension from office pending his trial before the tribunal.

President Buhari had on January 24th, suspended Onnoghen on the strength of the ex-parte order issued by the Code of Conduct Tribunal.

In a unanimous judgment delivered today Friday May 10th by the three-man bench led by Justice Stephen Adah, the Court of Appeal, however, ruled that the CCT’s ex parte order breached the ex-CJN’s right to fair hearing.

Justice Adah, who read the lead judgment, noted that the court proceedings ought not to be conducted “in a shady or clandestine maneuver” as manner in which the ex parte order was obtained by the prosecution.

The Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) on April 18th, convicted the suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Walter Onnoghen and banned him from holding any public office for 10 years.