*Argues That The Executive Is Acting As A Judge In Its Own Case *Claims He Never Admitted The Fact Of Non-Declaration Of Assets From Year 2005 As CJN *Argues That He Only Stated That He Did Not Declare In 2009 As Required Because He Forgot *Claims He Did The Declaration Immediately He Realizes Same *Says Conviction Amounts To An Academic Exercise The Immediate Past Chief Justice of Nigeria, Honourable Justice Walter Onnoghen, has appealed the decision of the Lower Tribunal convicting him of the charges of false assets declaration leveled against him. In the Notice of Appeal with Appeal No: CA/ABJ/… 2019/Charge No: CCT/ABJ/01/2019, made available to TheNigerialawyer (TNL), Justice Onnoghen has raised sixteen (16) grounds upon which the decision of the Tribunal is challenged. The Honourable Justice has appealed the whole decision on the two applications and the judgments of the Court. On Ground one, the appellant argued that the lower tribunal erred in law when it dismissed his application challenging its jurisdiction and that the same occasioned a grave miscarriage of justice. He stated in the particulars of error on which the said ground is anchored that the appellant was at the time the charges were filed on the 11th of January, 2019, before the lower tribunal, a judicial officer and was not subject to the jurisdiction of the lower tribunal; that on the authority of Nganjiwa v. FRN (2018) 4 NWLR (Pt. 1609) 301 at 340-342 only the National Judicial Council has the power to discipline the appellant for misconduct and not the lower tribunal; that the lower tribunal has in the case of FRN v. Sylvester Nwali Nguta in Charge No:CCT/ABJ/01/2017, delivered on the 9th January, 2018, affirmed the position of the Court in Nganjiwa v. FRN and dismissed the charges and acquitted and discharged Justice Nguta being a judicial officer subject only to the discipline of the NJC; that the lower tribunal has no jurisdiction over serving judicial officers such as the appellant save the National Judicial Council; and also that the Motion on Notice dated 14th January, 2019 challenging the jurisdiction ought to be granted in all material particulars as it purports to save the lower tribunal of needless futile exercise. Ground two is that the lower tribunal erred in law when it dismissed the appellant’s application seeking the chairman to rescue himself from further proceedings on the ground of real likelihood of bias and thus occasioned a miscarriage of justice. Ground three is that the lower tribunal erred in law when it refused to rescue itself from the proceedings in view of the declaration by the chairman of the tribunal that he is only accountable to the president who appointed him and nobody because he is not a judicial officer and thus occasioned a grave miscarriage of justice. In one of the particulars of errors, the appellant stated that his trial offenses the natural principle of fair hearing that a man cannot be a judge in his own case because the executive is the accuser, prosecutor and the adjudicator. The appellant also argued that the lower tribunal erred in law when it held that the appellant confessed to the charges framed by admission and use that as a basis to hold that the appellant did not declare his assets from the year 2005 when he became a justice of the Supreme Court and this occasioned a gross miscarriage of Justice. On the particulars of error as sated, the appellant stated that he did not admit the fact of non-declaration of assets from year 2005 as the justice of the Supreme Court; that he only stated that he did not declare in 2009 as required because he forgot and did the declaration immediately he realized same; by the evidence of DW1 and exhibit DW2 tendered, it has affirmed the statement of the appellant that he forgot to make a declaration in 2009 but did in 2010 when he remembered showing there was a declaration after all contrary to count one of the charge. Other grounds include amongst others that the lower tribunal erred in law when it held that the appellant is guilty of counts 2-6 of the Charge in view of the fact that the Appellant made an admission that he did not declare the Standard Chartered Bank Account Numbers in the 2014 declaration, and thus occasioned a miscarriage of justice; that the lower tribunal erred in law and acted without jurisdiction when it ordered that the assets of the appellate be confiscated and thus occasioned a miscarriage of justice. He, therefore, sought for the reliefs to wit: AN ORDER allowing the appeal, AN ORDER that the lower tribunal lacks jurisdiction to entertain the case, AN ORDER that the lower tribunal ought to have rescued itself from the proceedings before it; AN ORDER that the charge has become academic; AN ORDER setting aside the conviction of the appellant; AN ORDER setting aside the order for forfeiture of assets made by the Tribunal and AN ORDER discharging and acquitting the appellant. TheNigerialawyer (TNL) recalls that the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) has earlier today, the 18th day of April, 2019, convicted Honourable Onnoghen, on an allegation of false assets declaration. Justice has however before the judgement was delivered, resigned as a justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria.]]>
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