Connect with us

     

News

Supreme Court strikes out C’River suit challenging Onnoghen’s suspension

Published

on

Supreme Court strikes out C’River suit challenging Onnoghen’s suspension
  • Justice Odili: Ex- CJN suspension is illegal

The Supreme Court yesterday struck out a suit filed by the Cross River State government challenging the suspension of a former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen. In a split decision of sixto- one of a seven-man panel, the apex court in the lead judgement prepared by Justice Kayode Ariwoola held that the Cross River State government lacked the locus standi to institute the suit on behalf of Onnoghen. The panel led by Justice Olabode Rhodes-Vivour,also held that the Supreme Court was not the appropriate forum to ventilate whatever grievances the plaintiff might have in connection with the case.

The court therefore, struck out the case by upholding the Attorney General of the Federation’s preliminary objection filed to challenge the competence of the suit. The court, did not, how-ever, go into the merit of the case on grounds that it lacked jurisdiction to hear the case. However, another member of the panel, Justice Mary Peter-Odilli, dissented from the majority judgment, holding that the state government, where Onnoghen hails from possessed the locus standi to institute the suit. She also held that the Supreme Court was an appropriate forum to file the suit.

She held that the January 23 order issued by the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) on which President Muhamadu Buhari acted on to suspend Onnoghen was wrong as the tribunal had no jurisdiction to entertain the charges instituted against the erstwhile CJN in the first place.

Justice Odili also held that not having been first disciplined by the National Judicial Council (NJC), the CCT lacked jurisdiction to hear the false and non-declaration of assets charges instituted against Onnoghen. Cross Rivers had in a suit marked SC/45/2019 queried the propriety of Onnoghen’s trial before the Code of Conduct Tribunal on the charges of false assets declaration.

It urged the Supreme Court to declare the trial illegal on the grounds that it was only the NJC that could exercise disciplinary powers over a serving judge. At the argument stage,the Federal Government and the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami (SAN), asked the Court to strike out a suit. They asked the court to decline jurisdiction to hear the suit as the issues complained of by the plaintiff in it were personal to Onnoghen They maintained that personal issues like the ones contained in the Cross River State Government suit could only involve the Supreme Court where an appeal arises from the Court of Appeal’s decision either during or after the trial at the CCT.

Advertisements
Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Categories

Facebook

Trending

Take advantage of our impressive online traffic; advertise your brands and products on this site. Call For Advert Placement and Enquiries, Call: Mobile Phone:+234 803 304 2915 Online Editor: Michael Abimboye Mobile Phone: 0813 699 6757 Email: mmakesense@gmail.com Copyright © 2018 NewTelegraph Newspaper.

%d bloggers like this: