By Inibehe Effiong
The Court of Appeal is right in its decision today rejecting the appeal of Justice Onnoghen, to stay proceedings at the CCT.
The appeal was premature.
Stay of proceedings has been outlawed by Section 306 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015 (ACJA), as affirmed by the Supreme Court in the case of Olisa Metuh v. FRN (2017).
The implication of today’s ruling is that the trial of Justice Onnoghen, can resume at the CCT.
However, it should be noted that the ruling has not determined the issue of the jurisdiction of the CCT to try the CJN.
The ruling has not validated the suspension of the CJN in any way.
The CCT will now rule on the objection challenging its jurisdiction.
Justice Onnoghen’s appeal challenging the CCT’s exparte order removing him from office is still pending before the Court of Appeal. The appellate court will sit on February 4, 2019 in respect of the said appeal.
The CCT must first rule whether the CCB can file charges against Justice Onnoghen without the NJC’s approval.
It is amazing how people who have been attacking due process are celebrating the ruling of the appeal court. It shows the inherent duplicity of the attacks on procedure.
This is why we are insisting on due process. We should not praise the system only when it favours our agenda.
Inibehe Effiong is a Constitutional Law Attorney and the National Legal Adviser at African Action Congress (AAC)