A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr. Okon Efut and counsel to former Chief Justice of Nigeria Walter Onnoghen has said that the conviction of his client by the Code of Conduct Tibunal (CCT) would be appealed at the Court of Appeal.
Mr. Efut dropped the hint to journalists on the premises of the CCT after judgment was passed on Onnoghen on Thursday, describing the judgment as unconstitutional, and in breach of the ex-CJN’s right to fair hearing.
According to him, the judgment was premeditated, saying it had been passed as far back as January 23 when the tribunal ordered Onnoghen’s suspension without hearing him.
Efut said, “We know that all is not over in this matter. The wheel of justice grinds slowly. It grinds slowly but surely. But this is not a matter that will end here.
“We shall avail ourselves of all the processes and the hierarchy of the judiciary.
“The conviction is unconstitutional. It is a breach of fair hearing.
“Before this day, on January 23, 2019, the same judgment had been passed, removing the Chief Justice of Nigeria without fair hearing.
“So, it was fait accompli, it was premeditated. Judgment has been passed before today. Today’s judgment is just a formality.
“We hold the view that the tribunal has not only breached the Constitution of Nigeria, it has breached the fundamental principles of natural justice, equity and good conscience.
“It has not only been able to pass judgment, it has convicted on an offence that was never charged.
“This is an erosion of the fundamental principles of our Constitution and until some questions are answered, for instance, why is it that the due course of justice was not allowed to flow?”
The CCT, led by Danladi Umar, had earlier convicted Onnoghen on charges of breach of code of conduct for public officers – failing to declare five bank accounts containing huge sums of money as part of his assets.