CJN’s trial may end up as a “prosecutorial misadventure,” says Falana

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Veteran lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Femi Falana has asked the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami, to withdraw the charges of non-declaration of assets instituted against  CJN, Justice Onnoghen.

Falana said the charges were filed in violation of the subsisting judgment of the Court of Appeal which had shielded serving judicial officers from being investigated or prosecuted until they were disciplined by the National Judicial Council.

If the case was not withdrawn, Falana noted that it would likely end up as “a prosecutorial misadventure.”

He recalled that the CCT where the CJN was charged, had applied the Court of Appeal’s judgment when it on May 15, 2018, dismissed similar charges instituted against a Justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Sylvester Ngwuta.

Read alsoMore Than 150 SANs Set to Represent CJN Walter Onnoghen in Court Tomorrow  

“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,” he explained.

“The CCT had earlier applied the same judgment in the case against Justice Ngwuta, so it cannot now overrule itself.

“As all authorities are bound by the Court of Appeal verdict the case should be withdrawn by the AGF without any delay because it is likely to be a prosecutorial misadventure.”

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