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Industrial Court Says Order Halting Removal of CJN Stays

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The National Industrial Court, Abuja, Monday, said that its earlier order restraining the federal government and its agents from forcefully removing the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen, from office over alleged failure to declare all his assets, still substists.
Onnoghen’s scheduled arraignment at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) last week was adjourned till Tuesday, January 22, owing to improper service of the tribunal’s summons on the defendant.
While ruling on ex-parte motion seeking the court’s intervention on the planned removal of Onnoghen as a result of his trial at the CCT, last week, Justice Sanusi Kado halted the scheduled trial by ordering all parties in the suit to maintain status quo, pending the hearing and determination of the main suit.
Defendants in the suit filed by Peter Abang, include the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Chairman of CCT, the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB), the National Judicial Council (NJC), the Federal Judicial Service Commission (FJSC), the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) and the Senate President.
Justice Kado in granting the ex-parte last week said he was inclined to do so in order to avert a threat and constitutional breaches regarding the position of the CJN as the number one judicial officer of the country.
Subsequently he adjourned to January 21, to enable service of hearing notice to all the defendants.
However when the matter came up for hearing, yesterday, the claimant counsel, James Igwe informed the court that originating processes and the interim order had being served on all the defendants in the suit, except on the 2nd defendant.
According to Igwe, the CCT Chairman, had directed his Secretary to accept service on his behalf.
He then applied to the court for permission to serve the CCT Chairman through substituted means.
Responding, Presiding judge, Justice Kado, ordered that the processes and the interim order should be served on the chairman of the CCT through substituted means and pasted at the walls of the CCT.
He subsequently adjourned till 30th January for hearing of pending motion and the substantive suit.

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