Onnoghen Appeals Conviction By Tribunal, Lists 16 Reasons Why He Should Be Acquitted
Walter Onnoghen, former Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), has appealed his conviction for fraudulent property declaration by the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT).
On Thursday, having discovered Onnoghen responsible, the three-man panel of the tribunal chaired by Justice Danladi Umar eliminated him from workplace as Chief Justice of Nigeria, as Chairman of the Nationwide Judicial Council (NJC), and as Chairman of the Federal Judicial Service Fee (FJSC).
It additionally mentioned Onnoghen is to forfeit the cash in his 5 financial institution domiciliary accounts that weren’t declared to the Nigerian Authorities as a result of they had been acquired illegally, and as effectively barred him from holding public workplace for the subsequent 10 years.
Nonetheless, in a discover of enchantment filed on the Registry of the tribunal shortly after the judgment, Onnoghen faulted the judgement on 16 grounds, and urged the Courtroom of Enchantment to set it apart.
He requested the Courtroom of Enchantment to carry that the CCT lacked the jurisdiction to listen to the cost and that the tribunal should have recused itself from the trial.
He additionally prayed the Enchantment Courtroom to put aside all of the orders made by the tribunal within the judgment, together with that of forfeiture of his 5 domiciliary accounts to the Nigerian authorities.
“The decrease tribunal erred in regulation when it refused to recuse itself from the proceedings in view of the open declaration by the Chairman of the tribunal that he’s solely accountable to the President, who appointed him and no person else, as a result of he isn’t a judicial officer and thus, occasioned a grave miscarriage of justice,” he mentioned.
“The decrease tribunal erred in regulation when it held that the appellant confessed to the fees framed by admission and used that as a foundation to carry that the appellant didn’t declare his property from the yr 2005 when he turned a justice of the Supreme Courtroom and thus occasioned a grave miscarriage of justice.
“The decrease tribunal erred in regulation when it held that the appellant is responsible of counts 2 – 6 of the cost in view of the truth that the appellant made an admission that he didn’t declare the Normal Chartered Checking account numbers within the 2014.
“The decrease tribunal erred in regulation when it held that the appellant made false assertion by the omission to declare the account numbers in Normal Chartered Financial institution in 2014 declaration, the identical method he did within the 2016 declaration and held counts 2 – 6 to be proved.”
Earlier, Okon Nkanu Efut, Onnoghen’s lead counsel, had reacted to the judgment by branding it “unconstitutional and out of order”.
“The journey has ended right now as a result of every little thing that has a starting will need to have an finish. So today, we have now heard that the Chief Justice of Nigeria has been convicted and sentenced,” Efut had mentioned.
“The conviction is out of order, it’s unconstitutional. It’s a breach of honest listening to as a result of earlier than today, on the January 23, the identical judgement had been handed prior to now, eradicating the CJN and not using a honest listening to. So it was a fait accompli, it was premeditated gasoline judgment had been handed earlier than right now.
“So right now’s judgement is only a formality and we maintain the view that the tribunal has not solely breached the structure of Nigeria, it has breached the basic rules of pure justice, fairness and good conscience.
“It has not solely not been capable of cross judgement, it has convicted for an offence that was by no means charged and that is an erosion of the basic rules of our structure. Till some questions are answered, as an example, why is it that the due course of justice was not allowed to circulation? Why was judgement handed on January 23 earlier than right now, eradicating the CJN?
“Why is it that right now, even after the CJN had tendered his discover of voluntary retirement and the NJC has taken a place, why is it that the tribunal has gone forward to cross a judgement in complete disregard of the independence of the NJC, in complete disregard of the powers of the Senate on this matter?
“We maintain a view that the tribunal in reversing itself within the case of Ngwuta, has breached the precept that maintain us collectively. This can be a unhappy day in our nation’s democracy and we all know that every one shouldn’t be over with this matter. The wheel of justice grinds slowly however certainly. This isn’t a matter that can finish right here.
“We will avail ourselves of all of the processes, the hierarchy of the judiciary and we all know that the judiciary will redeem itself despite the fact that severely battered and bruised. The judiciary will do justice. Justice has not been completed right now, however it can certainly be completed tomorrow. If not by the tribunal, however by our God. Justice might be completed by our God.”
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