Updated: February 28, 2021
Human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, has asked the Muhammadu Buhari administration to urgently withdraw the charges against the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, arguing that such a move will amount to prosecutorial misadventure.
The Buhari government had earlier asked Onnoghen to vacate his office over failure to declare his assets as required by the law and moved to arraign him at the Code of Conduct Tribunal in Abuja on Monday.
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But Falana, in a statement on Saturday faulted government’s move to press charges against the CJN.
According to him, “The charge against the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen ought not to have been instituted at the Code of Conduct of Tribunal in view of the case of Nganjiwa v FRN (2017) LPELR 43391 wherein the Court of Appeal held that a judicial officer who has not been investigated by the National Judicial Council and sanctioned for misconduct cannot be arraigned in any criminal court in Nigeria.
“As all authorities are bound by the Court of Appeal verdict, the case should be withdrawn by the Attorney-General of the Federation without any delay because it is likely to be a prosecutorial misadventure,” he said.