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Non-declaration of assets: FG wants CJN Onnoghen to step aside

The Federal Government has directed the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Walter Onnoghen, to step aside from his position.

This is pending the determination of the case of alleged non-declaration of assets against him at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) sitting, in Abuja.

The government prosecutor in the case, Ali Umar, said this, on Tuesday.

Umar  revealed this during the sitting over the case against Onnoghen at the tribunal.

The lawyer sought the CCT to make an order for the CJN to step aside.

Onnoghen was not present at the tribunal.

According to Mr. Wole Olanipekun, who led other lawyers to defend him, Onnoghen was absent in view of the cases challenging the proceeding at the tribunal.

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Reacting to the demand for the CJN to step aside, Olanipekun argued: “We have an application challenging the jurisdiction of the tribunal to hear this case. And that application has not been heard.

“The tribunal does not have the jurisdiction to make such order.”

Rather, he asked the tribunal to adjourn the case pending the determination of the cases challenging the trial of the CJN.

It would be recalled that the trial of Onnoghen has generated controversy with Nigerians divided over the propriety of the trial.

While some described the case against him as an effort by the Federal Government to intimidate the judiciary ahead of the coming election, some supported the government arguing that the CJN was not above the law.

Also, many have argued that the tribunal does not have the power to try his case.