President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration would have gone down in history as the first government to arrest a Chief Justice of Nigeria in case the police eventually picked Walter Onnoghen, suspended CJN.
Following the bench warrant issued against the ex-CJN on Wednesday by Code of Conduct Tribunal chairman, Danladi Umar, security agencies in the country including police and Directorate of State Services, DSS, the magazine has learned have been on red alert to apprehend and arrest Onnoghen.
The CCT a short while ago directed ordered the Inspector General of Police, IGP to arrest the ex-CJN after he failed to appear before the tribunal.
At the trial on Wednesday, counsel to Onnoghen, Adegboyega Awomolo, a senior advocate of Nigeria failed to stop the CCT chairman from making the order.
Umar consequently ordered the Inspector General of Police and the Director General of the DSS to arrest Onnoghen and produce him in court on Friday, February 15 for arraignment.
Onnoghen is facing trial for not fully declaring his properties as a public officer, a breach of the Code of Conduct law.
Chairman of the Tribunal, Danladi Umar, on Wednesday, issued the bench warrant against Onnoghen following his absence in court for arraignment.
The Tribunal had at its last sitting on February 4, ordered that Onnoghen must make himself available in court today February 13, for arraignment over the allegation.
When the matter came up today, Onnoghen was not in court and his lawyers led by Adegboyega Awomolo, SAN prayed the court to take all pending applications relating to the trial, particularly the issue of the tribunal’s jurisdiction to hear the matter.
President Buhari has faced local and international backlash over the suspension of the CJN and appointing Ibrahim Tanko Muhammed as his replacement on January 24.
But the president has maintained that it was the right thing to do, after the CJN refused to step down from office.
Justice Onnoghen is accused of owning swathe of properties locally and abroad, including foreign accounts in breach of his oath as a public officer.
But the embattled CJN said it was an oversight on his part not to disclose all his belongings to the Bureau.
He’s currently being investigated by the National Judicial Council, NJC.