Onnoghen: Restraining Order on Arraignment Subsists, Says Court

A Federal High Court, Abuja, on Thursday, has extended the order of the court temporarily halting the arraignment of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, (CJN) Justice Walter Onnoghen, before the Code of Conduct Tribunal in Abuja, declaring the order subsists till January 28, when the matter would be heard.
Justice Evelyn Maha extended the restraining order to January 28, the next adjourned date to enable service of court processes on the respondents who were not in court.
The court had last Monday in a short ruling on two separate ex-parte applications brought before it ordered parties to maintain status quo pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit.
The Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) had scheduled the arraignment of Onnoghen for last Monday, January 14, 2019, before the 3 man panel of the tribunal.
But, the applicants, the Incorporated Trustees of the Centre for Justice and Peace Initiative and the Incorporated Trustees of International Association of Students, had approached the court for an order seeking to stop the arraignment of the CJN.
The judge in granting the prayers of the plaintiffs adjourned to January 17, while ordering that the defendants be served with all the processes filed in the case.
At the resumed hearing yesterday, counsel to the Incorporated Trustees of the Centre for Justice and Peace Initiative R.A. Lawal-Rabana SAN, informed the court that the business of the day was to move the motion on notice. He said all the respondents to the suit have been served with the processes filed by the plaintiff and the enrolled order of the court, except the Senate President.
Lawal-Rabana then prayed the Court for a short adjournment to ensure that the Senate President is serve in the interest of justice.
Responding, Justice Maha asked Dr. Garba Tetengi SAN who announced appearance for the 4th respondent, the National Judicial Council and the only respondent who was in court if he was served .
Tetengi while confirming service said he has no objection to the request for a short adjournment.
In a short ruling, Justice Maha observed that the processes served on the respondents were not accompanied with certificate itemizing each of the processes served on each of the respondents.
The court accordingly ordered the plaintiff counsel to regularise the service and ensure that the Senate president was serve.
She adjourned the matter to January 28 for hearing.
A similar suit filed by Incorporated Trustees of International Association of Students was also adjourned to same January 28 as it was observed by the judge to have same service defects.
Before adjourning the matter, the court held that the order for parties to maintain statusco still stands.

Author: News Editor

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