The Danladi Umar – led three – man Code of Conduct Tribunal on Monday adjourned proceedings involving the charges of non -declaration of assets preferred against the Chief Justice of Nigeria , Justice Walter Onnoghen , till January 22 .
Umar ruled that the tribunal would hear Onnoghen ’ s motion challenging the jurisdiction of the tribunal at the next proceedings .
The tribunal adjourned the case after the lead prosecuting counsel , Mr . Aliyu Umar ( SAN ) , conceded that Onnoghen was improperly served with the charges and the summons .
Umar conceded that the CJN was not personally served with the charges and the court ’ s summons, as required by the law .
He , therefore , requested the three – man tribunal led by Danladi Umar to direct a fresh service on the CJN .
Onnoghen was absent from the Monday ’ s proceedings .
Upon an inquiry by the tribunal chairman about Onnoghen ’ s absence from court , the defence team led by Chief Wole Olanipekun ( SAN ) , said the CJN needed not to be present , having filed a motion to challenge the tribunal ’ s jurisdiction.
Olanipekun said he and other defence lawyers only appeared in court in protest against the jurisdiction of the tribunal .
He also said that , from the account given by the court official earlier in the proceedings , the CJN was not served with the charges and and summons personally, but through his aide .
Olanipekun insisted that the law requires that the defendant be served personally.
But the prosecuting lawyer said the law only requires the defendant to be aware of the pending charges , and that it was the CJN ’ s choice to ask his aide to receive the charges and summons on his behalf .
But after a back -and – forth argument that went on for about 45 minutes , the prosecuting counsel conceded that the service of the charges and the summons ought to have been personally served on Onnoghen .
“ By what the registrar has said , although the defendant was the one who directed his personal assistant to accept service on his behalf and what the law says is that he must be personally served.
“ We agree that that the service should be properly done . The processes should be served personally on him .
“ If , after the service is done , and the defendant is not present , we can then argue whether or not he needs to be present on the grounds that he has filed a motion challenging the jurisdiction of the court . ”
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