sunny.png
Wednesday December 11th, 2019 8:46AM

Nigeria chief justice forced from office, faces trial

By The Associated Press

MAIDUGURI, Nigeria (AP) — Nigeria's chief justice is being arraigned Monday at the Code of Conduct Tribunal in Abuja on charges of allegedly failing to declare his assets and for holding foreign bank accounts.

The federal government ordered Chief Justice Walter Samuel Nkanu Onnoghen to immediately vacate his office as head of the country's judiciary Saturday. Nigerian state officials must declare their assets by law before they take office and after they leave.

The Code of Conduct Bureau had filed six charges against Onnoghen on Friday, all related to non-declaration of assets, according to the tribunal.

The chief justice has a key role in resolving election disputes and Nigeria will vote for a new president on Feb. 16.

This is the first time a Nigerian chief justice is standing trial.

A team of 94 lawyers arrived at the tribunal on Monday to defend Onnoghen, whose appointment nearly two years ago had suffered an unprecedented delay by President Muhammadu Buhari for undisclosed reasons. Buhari will be running for another term in the February elections.

The Coalition of Niger Delta Agitators on Sunday threatened to resume attacks on oil wells in the region should the trial move forward. The coalition of militants argued that Onnoghen is being prosecuted because he is from the Niger Delta and is an attempt to destabilize the upcoming election.

"In the first instance, President Muhammadu Buhari was not disposed to Justice Onnoghen's appointment to this position, which was why he refused to confirm the appointment after so many months of serving in an acting capacity," the group said in a statement, adding that the chief justice's appointment was confirmed by acting President Yemi Osinbajo while Buhari was in London for health reasons.

"We, therefore, want to state categorically that if the presidency failed to reverse its harassment against the CJN (chief justice), we will have no other option but to mobilize all the Niger Delta fighters and commence serious actions that would shake the country."

Nigeria's Senate President Bukola Saraki was years ago arraigned at the tribunal for false asset declaration, though he was eventually discharged and acquitted. Those decisions were upheld by the Supreme Court under the leadership of Onnoghen.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Supreme Court News, AP World News
© Copyright 2019 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
The Latest: Top EU lawmaker urges UK to approve Brexit deal
A top European Parliament leader is urging British lawmakers to "behave responsibly" and approve the UK's divorce deal with the European Union
6:46AM ( 1 minute ago )
Russian, Japanese foreign ministers discuss disputed islands
The foreign Ministers of Russia and Japan are conducting talks on disputed Pacific islands
6:37AM ( 10 minutes ago )
The Latest: EU sends UK warm words but no new Brexit offer
The British government has published a letter from European Union leaders that it hopes will ease U.K. lawmakers' worries over the Brexit agreement between Britain and the bloc
6:24AM ( 24 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
The Latest: Italian fugitive arrives in Rome on plane
A left-wing Italian militant who was convicted of murder three decades ago has arrived in Rome to serve a life prison sentence, after his life as a celebrity fugitive came to an abrupt end with his arrest in Bolivia by a team of Interpol agents
5:49AM ( 58 minutes ago )
Blood donors come forward for stabbed Polish mayor
Polish blood donors are coming forward in droves in a bid to save the life of Gdansk's mayor, who needs transfusions after being stabbed in the heart and the abdomen while on stage at a charity event
5:48AM ( 1 hour ago )
Indonesia recovers Lion Air jet's cockpit voice recorder
Indonesia navy divers have recovered the cockpit voice recorder of a Lion Air jet that crashed into the Java Sea in October
5:45AM ( 1 hour ago )
AP World News
The Latest: EU sends UK warm words but no new Brexit offer
The British government has published a letter from European Union leaders that it hopes will ease U.K. lawmakers' worries over the Brexit agreement between Britain and the bloc
6:24AM ( 24 minutes ago )
'Miracle' flight survivors mark decade of thankfulness
10 years post 'Miracle,' lives changed in ways big and small
6:22AM ( 25 minutes ago )
Pompeo: US wants accountability for Khashoggi's murder
Pompeo: Trump administration expects Saudi Arabia to hold 'every single person' in Khashoggi's murder accountable
6:22AM ( 25 minutes ago )
Barr as attorney general: old job, very different Washington
If confirmed as attorney general, Barr would return to a Justice Department in a very different Washington
6:20AM ( 27 minutes ago )
Italian fugitive arrives home to serve life term for murder
A left-wing Italian militant who was convicted of murder three decades ago has arrived in Rome to serve a life prison sentence, after his life as a celebrity fugitive came to an abrupt end with his arrest in Bolivia by a team of Interpol agents
6:09AM ( 38 minutes ago )