Femi Falana (SAN), a Nigerian lawyer and human rights activist, has called for the withdrawal of the charge by the Federal Government of Nigeria against the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Samuel Onnoghen.
The Federal Government will on Monday, January 14, 2019, bring Justice Onnoghen to trial before the Justice Danladi Yakubu-led Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) in Abuja on charges of failures to declare his assets as necessitated by law and for operating Bank Domiciliary Foreign Currency Accounts.
These charges against Justice Onnoghen were filed and served on him on Friday, Jan. 11 2019, at his residence in Abuja preparatory for his appearance at the tribunal.
Falana, while speaking to Premium Times said the move against Justice Onnoghen was a “prosecutorial misadventure” and called on the justice minister, Abubakar Malami, to withdraw the charges immediately.
Falana 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“As all authorities are bound by the Court of Appeal verdict the case should be withdrawn by the Attorney-General of the Federation without any delay because it is likely to be a prosecutorial misadventure.”