Walter Onnoghen, suspended chief justice of Nigeria, has lost his appeal seeking stay of proceedings on his ongoing trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT)
The federal government is prosecuting him for alleged false assets declaration.
Onnoghen had approached the court of appeal, arguing the CCT had no jurisdiction to preside over the case.
But on Wednesday, a three-man panel of the court of appeal led by Abdul Aboki, ruled that the charges brought against Onnoghen were criminal in nature and that the proceedings before the CCT cannot be stopped.
The appellate court said going by the provisions of the criminal justice act, it lacked the power to stay proceedings in criminal cases.
“A court has inherent jurisdiction to grant stay of proceedings where it is certified that enough evidence has been given for such,” Aboki said.
He, therefore, argued that enough evidence had not been given for a stay of execution and as such, “order for stay cannot be made in vacuum”.
The court subsequently adjourned till February 4 for hearing on Onnoghen’s application challenging the jurisdiction of the CCT on the case.
This means the tribunal can proceed with the CJN’s trial.