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JUST IN: CJN Onnoghen absent as CCT begins sitting

Justice Walter Onnoghen, CJN

Proceedings at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) has started without the defendant, Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) Walter Samuel Onnoghen’s presence at the tribunal.

When the case was called, the court official announced that the defendant was not in court.

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Aliyu Umar announced appearance for the prosecution. Four other lawyers appeared with him.

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Wole Olanipekun announced appearance as the lead counsel for the defendant.

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Others are; Adegboyega Awomolo, Kanu Agabi, Yusuf Ali, Chris Uche, Hassan Hassan, Paul Erokoro, S.I. Ameh, Sebastine Hon, Magaji Mahmoud, James Onoja, Akinlola Kehinde, Chukwuma-Machukwu Ume, Victoria Awomolo, Tawo Tawo, Muyiwa Akinbolohun, Varile Azinge, Abdul Ibrahim, Olubowale Taiwo, Garba Tetengi, Offiong Effiong, Patrick Okolo.

However, Umar objected to the calling of all the counsels, citing the directives of the CJN that not more than five counsels should make appearance for any party in any case.

Replying, Olanipekun said it is too early in the day for such argument.

Court official said the summons was served on the CJN through his personal assistant.

As at 10:15am, Olanipekun said the defence has an application challenging the jurisdiction of the court.

Umar objected to the taking of the application on the ground that the defendant is not in court, has not taken his plea and that the prosecution has just been served and would need time to respond.

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