A Lagos-based Human Rights Lawyer, Mr Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa says the costs pending before the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) against the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen are unlawful.
Adegboruwa on Monday in Lagos described the whole lot of the method as unconstitutional, unlawful, null and void, including that very same should and needs to be withdrawn forthwith.
Onnoghen, is expected to be arraigned on Jan. 14 (Monday), before the CCT, following six depend prices of allegations of failure to declare his belongings.
According to Adegboruwa, by the provisions of part 36 (4) of the 1999 Constitution, a citizen who’s charged with a criminal offence, should be taken to the suitable discussion board throughout the requisite jurisdiction, be it a court docket of regulation, a tribunal or such different quasi-judicial organ.
“By part 153 (1) (i) & (2) of the 1999 Constitution, the National Judicial Council (NJC) was established for the Federation of Nigeria.
“By Paragraph 20 (b) of Part 1 of the Third Schedule to the 1999 Constitution, the NJC shall `train disciplinary management’ over all judicial officers, including the CJN.
“The NJC being a quasi-judicial organ established by the Constitution, it’s the acceptable discussion board to first elevate any matter against any judicial officer, including the CJN; thus, the NJC has unique jurisdiction over all judicial officers, including the CJN.
“By the choice of the Court of Appeal within the case of Nganjiwa v Federal Republic of Nigeria (FRN), no criminal cost could be laid against a judicial officer, including the CJN, in any court docket of regulation, with out first submitting such grievance before the NJC.
“The Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) and the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) are each half and parcel of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and are sure by the choices of the Court of Appeal in Nganjiwa v Federal republic of Nigeria,” Adegboruwa mentioned in a press release.
According to him, under part 287 (2) of the Constitution, the choices of the Court of Appeal shall be enforced in any a part of the Federation, by all authorities and individuals and by courts with subordinate jurisdiction to that of the Court of Appeal.
He mentioned that the CCB and CCT are each subordinate entities to the Court of Appeal, who’re sure to implement, apply and obey the choice of the Court of Appeal in Nganjiwa v FRN.
“From the foregoing, the criminal prices filed against the CJN before the CCT are unlawful, extremely vires, unconstitutional, null and void and will both be withdrawn forthwith by the CCB, discontinued by the AGF by submitting a nolle proseque, or struck out by the CCT.
“By advantage of part 36 (5) of the 1999 Constitution, each individual (including the CJN) who’s charged with a criminal offense shall be presumed to be harmless till the opposite is proved,” he mentioned
Adegboruwa famous that by advantage of the “unlawful prices” alone, the CJN can’t be requested to vacate his workplace.
He mentioned that whereas, no citizen is above the regulation to be arraigned or charged for any criminal offence, the CJN should be accorded his full constitutional rights as assured by the Constitution.
“I subsequently enchantment for transparency and uniform utility of requirements, within the prosecution drive of the administration.
“As we method the 2019 normal elections, I enchantment for calm from all, and I urge the Executive arm of government to reveal limitless respect for the due strategy of regulation at all times so as to not heat up the polity unduly, given the current state of affairs of our expensive nation,” the lawyer mentioned. (NAN)