* Says there are two kinds of Immunity
* Asks Federal Government to Follow Due Process
* Affirms the CJN is Not Above The Law
* Itse Sagay Has Lost My Respect, He says
Human Rights Activist, and Former President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Olisa Agbakoba, SAN, has said that the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, enjoys official immunity and therefore cannot be taken to the Code of Conduct Tribunal at first instance.
Mr. Agbakoba made this statement whilst speaking on the trial of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, in a TV show known as the Morning Show. According to him, there are two kinds of immunity; the personal and official immunity. He said that whether the CJN is guilty or not is not necessarily important, but that due process must be followed in trying him.
“It is not important. The CJN is not above the law, but that’s not the point. The point is due-process. The CJN enjoys immunity. Often, people don’t know that there are two kinds of immunity. There is the official and personal immunity.
“The charge against him is incompetent. The Tribunal is an inferior Court, the procedure is wrong. As head of the Judiciary, no one can summon him to court except as prescribed by law. Respect due process and the rule of law, that’s all,” he said.
Speaking on what he described as due process, he said that the proper body to take the CJN matter to is the National Judicial Council or the Senate. According to him, the CJN being the head of court can only be impeached by two-third majority of the Senate. He also said that it baffles him that the Code of Conduct Bereau will receive a petition on Wednesday, frame charges on Thursday, get the Chair of the CCT to sign it on Saturday, and then ask the CJN to appear before the court on Monday. He therefore stressed that the Federal Government seems not to be okay with the Judiciary, maybe because the Court has severally given decision that does not favour the ruling party.
“Why shot yourself in the foot? Is it about the Election? The Judiciary has severally given decisions that haven’t favoured the APC, in particular, the case on the governorship gubernatorial candidate in Rivers. This is the speculation that filed this idiotic action,” he said.
Concluding, he added that he has lost his respect for Prof. Itse Sagay over his utterances about the CJN trial. According to him, they had once fought for the professor over an issue of due-process as well, but was shocked to see the professor make utterances against the rule of law.