A Senior Advocate of Nigeria and human rights lawyer, Mr Femi Falana, has called on the Federal Government to withdraw the criminal charges against the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen.
In a statement Sunday, Falana faulted the move by the government to press charges against the CJN at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) over alleged failure to declare his assets.
He said, “The charge against the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, ought not to have been instituted at the Code of Conduct of Tribunal in view of the case of Nganjiwa v FRN (2017) LPELR 43391 wherein the Court of Appeal held that a judicial officer who has not been investigated by the National Judicial Council and sanctioned for misconduct cannot be arraigned in any criminal court in Nigeria.
“As all authorities are bound by the Court of Appeal verdict, the case should be withdrawn by the Attorney-General of the Federation without any delay because it is likely to be a prosecutorial misadventure.”
The CCT had said it would commence the trial of Justice Onnoghen on Monday, January 14, on six charges.
It explained that the charges were filed before it by the CCB, based on a petition signed by the Executive Secretary of the anti-corruption research data-based initiative, Dennis Aghanya.
Falana’s reaction comes after the Nigerian Bar Association criticised the government’s action, saying it is an “assault on the judiciary”.