Comprehensive Live Updates and Pictures as Lawyers storm CCT for Chief Justice Onnoghen
Below are live updates from the case of FGN VS Onnoghen before the CCT
The Defence team has filed a Preliminary Objection (PO) to the effect that the tribunal lacked the Jurisdiction.
The tribunal is filled with armed policemen.
- One Aliyu Umar announces appearance for Prosecution leading 4 Other lawyers.
- Wole Olanipekun, SAN, announces appearance for Defence.
- Tribunal asked if Defendant has been served with the charge and Registry confirmed that it was served on Defendant’s PA.
- Olanipekun was cut short in announcing appearance. Prosecution says Defendant is only allowed 5 Counsel on the Record.
- Olanipekun ignores him and continues announcing appearances.
- Desmond Yamah announces appearance for NBA as an interested party. Tribunal Chair says you are either for Prosecution or Defence..tells him he cannot be on the Record. Mr Yamah insists on being on the Record but Chair overrules him
- Olanipekun (SAN) informs Tribunal of application filed today challenging Tribunal’s jurisdiction to “sniff”, countenance or adjudicate on charge says Complainant has been served.
- Prosecution says Defendant must be arraigned first. That they have just received application and that the Charge cannot proceed in Defendants’ absence.
- Olanipekun says arraignment doesn’t arise as the Tribunal’s jurisdiction is challenged. Says that Tribunal has ruled in line with that position but doesn’t cite the case. Refers Tribunal to its Practice Direction Paragraph 3. And reads it to the court.
- Registry furnishes Defence the Order. Makes an issue out of it. Says no date was given on the face of the Order. Says that with all respect date must be there.
- Chair says that the summons contains a date and that suffices.
- Olanipekun says he is not aware that Summons was served on Defendant.
- CCT Chair says that Summons can be served on even a member of Defendant’s household.
- Refers to ACJA reads material provision says service must be personal. Section 123 and 124 ACJA.
Says service on anyone other than Defendant must be with leave of the Court. Says it is strange that in the absence of proper Service, Prosecution is here talking about arraignment.
- Chair poses a question as to whether Defendant is not aware of charge
- Prosecution says Defendant is absent on his own volition. Says that no law that Defendant challenging jurisdiction can choose to be absent from Court. Prosecution says Defendant having directed that his PA be served, service is proper but that if
- Defence insists that the Defendant by law must be served personally. Suggests that Tribunal should order that Defendant be served afresh and this time personally with specific orders not to take any instructions from Defendant this time as to service
- Olanipekun says there’s need to serve Defendant afresh contends that it is not the law that Defendant challenging Charge must be present.
- Refers to S 266 ACJA says that Defendant doesn’t need to be present for an “Interlocutory” application
- Prosecution refers tribunal to S 396 ACJA says that nothing can happen in Defendant’s absence.
- Prosecution says “he can refuse to take his plea” but he must be present
- Olanipekun cites INEC v Ogwubego Pt 1620 emphasises that case was decided just last year supporting his contention that Defendant need not be present. Cites Ezeze v State Pt 894, Cites Fawehinmi v AG Lagos, Says that there are “so many” authorities supporting his contention, Cites Olusola v Ayodele
- Tribunal takes us back by asking whether the essence of Service is not to make Defendant aware of Charge?
- Olanipekun responds that it doesn’t apply to Criminal proceedings
- Prosecution applies that Tribunal order that Defendant be served personally. Then on the return date parties may address the Tribunal on whether the Defendant ought to be present
- Olanipekun not opposing the application but asks for Costs
- Tribunal says will give ” a very short date to come back”
- Suggests coming back this week
- Prosecutor, had applied that Defendant be served afresh with the charge, but now mentions that the Defendant was properly served in the first instance. Prosecutor Gives evidence as to how Service was done earlier
- Olanipekun says that Defendant is entitled to adequate time and facilities to prepare his defence and thus coming back this week will not suffice.
- Asks that Defendant’s application be set down for Hearing on the next date
- While Counsel are conferring to agree on next date, Tribunal says they should return on Thursday this week— 17 January 2019
- Olanipekun protests but Chair says that he is in charge of the Court.
- Chair says that any other Defence Counsel can handle proceedings
- It appears however that Olanipekun not backing down on the date
- Chair says ACJA encourages speedy hearing of matters.
- Adjourns to Tuesday, 22 January 2019. For hearing of all pending applications
CREDIT: SYLVESTER UDEMEZUE ESQ
Pictures (Credit to Dr. Chike Amobi)
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