By Glory Abuh-Adejoh
The National Industrial Court, Abuja, on Monday ordered the service of an interim order and hearing notice on the Chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), Malam Danladi Umar.
The orders follow the suit seeking to restrain the tribunal from prosecuting the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Mr Walter Onnoghen.
At the hearing, counsel to the claimant, James Igwe (SAN), informed the court that originating processes and interim order had been served on all parties except the tribunal’s chairman and the Senate President.
Igwe said it was the secretary to the tribunal’s chairman that received the document and not the chairman personally.
He, however, said the senate president was not served as an oversight that should be corrected immediately.
The judge, Justice Sanusi Kado, therefore ordered that the processes and interim order be served on the tribunal’s chairman through substituted means.
He equally ordered that notice should be placed on the wall of the tribunal’s office.
He held that hearing notices should be served on all parties.
He also gave the order that the interim order made on Jan.14 restraining the defendants from further proceeding with the trial against the CJN should subsist.
The judge adjourned the matter until Jan. 30 for hearing of motion on notice of the interlocutory injunction in the substantive suit.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the CJN is facing a six-count charge before the CCT over an alleged non-declaration of assets.
NAN further recalls that the trial is based on a petition filed by a group, the Anti-corruption, Research and Data-based Initiative.
The claimant in the suit, one Mr Peter Abang, therefore, filed an ex-parte motion before the court seeking an order to suspend the trial at the tribunal.
Joined as co-defendants in the suit are Code of Court Bureau, CCB, CCT chairman, Danladi Umar; Attorney General of the Federation and The National Judicial Commission.
Others are The Federal Judicial Service Commission, the Inspector General of Police, the Justice Minister, Abubakar Malami, Senate President, Bukola Saraki, and National Judicial Council.
NAN reports that Mr Garba Tetengi, Defence Counsel to NJC was the only defence counsel in court.