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Onnoghen’s lawyer describes CCT judgement as a breach of justice

Onnoghen’s lawyer describes CCT judgement as a breach of justice
April 18
23:02 2019

Okon Efut, lead counsel to Walter Onnoghen, says the judgement passed by the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) on the suspended chief justice of Nigeria (CJN) is a breach of justice and equity.

Efut spoke with journalists after the conviction of Onnoghen for false asset declaration by the CCT, on Thursday.

Danladi Umar, CCT chairman, had found Onnoghen guilty of the six counts preferred against him by the federal government, saying it had been proved beyond reasonable doubt that he breached the code of conduct for public officers

Umar, therefore, ordered that Onnoghen be removed from office of CJN and banned from holding public office for 10 years.

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But reacting to the judgement, Efut said the ruling was premeditated and a formality as the judgement had already been passed in January when Onnoghen was removed from office “without fair hearing.”

He said the judgement has not only breached Nigeria’s constitution but also its fundamental principles of justice and equity.

He noted that the CCT convicted Onnoghen on an offence “that was never charged.”

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“We know that all is not over in this matter. The wheel of justice grinds slowly; it grinds slowly but surely. But this is not a matter that will end here,” he said.

“We shall avail ourselves of all the processes and the hierarchy of the judiciary. The conviction is unconstitutional. It is a breach of fair hearing. Before this day, on January 23, 2019, the same judgment had been passed, removing the Chief Justice of Nigeria without fair hearing.

“So, it was fait accompli, it was premeditated. Judgment has been passed before today. Today’s judgment is just a formality.

“We hold the view that the tribunal has not only breached the constitution of Nigeria, it has breached the fundamental principles of natural justice, equity and good conscience.

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“It has not only been able to pass judgment, it has convicted on an offence that was never charged.

“This is an erosion of the fundamental principles of our constitution and until some questions are answered, for instance, why is it that the due course of justice was not allowed to flow?”

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