The Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, has condemned the planned trial of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onneghen, over alleged non-declaration of assets as required of him.
In a statement by its president, Paul Usoro, the association described the trial as an assault, intimidation, and desecration of the judiciary by the agencies of the federal government.
NBA said the media trial of the CJN was not in accordance with the rule of law.
It argued that the due protocols in the processing of the case had been left unobserved.
The statement reads in part: “We have in total a record number of 3 (three) working days between the receipt and processing of the petition, investigation, preparation of Charge and ancillary processes and the arraignment! Such unprecedented speed and efficiency in Nigeria’s criminal justice administration!
“It is clear, given the rush with which this matter was conducted by the CCB, that the NJC was not privy to it and did not conduct its mandatorily required disciplinary processes prior to the filing of the Charge before the CCT.”
The Federal Government will on Monday arraign Walter Onnoghen at the Code of Conduct Tribunal, CCT.
A service of summons has been issued to that effect.
The plan to arraign him was officially made known on Saturday in a statement by the Head of Press and Public Relations Unit of the CCT, Ibraheem Al-Hassan.
He disclosed that an application to that effect was filed by the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) to the CCT chairman on Friday.
He added: “However, service of summons has been effected to the defendant, the three man panel led by Justice Danladi Y. Umar, will commence the trial on Monday, 14th January, 2019 at its courtroom, situated at the headquarter, along Jabi Daki biyu, Saloman Lar Way, Abuja, at about 10:00 a.m.
“The application was filed yesterday by the operatives of CCB, dated 11st January, 2019 and signed by Musa Ibrahim Usman (Esq) and Fatima Danjuma Ali (Esq), containing 6 count charges all bother on non-declaration of asset.”