The Code of Conduct Tribunal is expected to set a date to deliver judgement in the six-count charge of false and non-declaration of assets against the immediate past Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen.
The three-member Tribunal chaired by Danladi Umar had at the last sitting set Monday, April 15 to formally take the closing arguments from parties in the matter after which it will deliver its judgement.
The adjournment to deliver judgement may however be sina dine for the Tribunal to communicate the date to the counsels on a later day. The Tribunal is also to simultaneously deliver its ruling on some of the applications raised by the defence counsel in the course of the trial.
One of the applications to be determined by the Tribunal is the motion challenging its jurisdiction to entertain a matter affecting a serving judicial officer. The other application is the motion asking the Tribunal Chairman, Danladi Umar to recuse himself by disqualification from further presiding over the trial on the grounds that he had exhibited bias in the handling of the case.
Justice Onnoghen who tendered his retirement letter as the country’s substantive CJN on April 5 was dragged before the Tribunal on January 16. Barely 10 days after, President Muhummadu Buhari suspended him from office and appointed Justice Tanko Muhammad who was immediately sworn-in as Acting CJN to replace Justice Onnoghen.
Till date, it is not clear whether President Buhari has accepted the retirement letter of Justice Onnoghen. His unceremonious exit came shortly after the National Judicial Council (NJC) considered petitions against him and reportedly recommended his compulsory retirement. The President is yet to act on the report of the Council.