A National Industrial Court in Abuja has ordered the substituted service of an interim order and hearing notice on the Chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), Danladi Umar.
This fresh order followed the granting of an interim order on January 14 restraining the tribunal from hearing the case of non-declaration of assets against the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Walter Samuel Onnoghen.
At the resumed hearing yesterday, 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 chairman and the Senate President.
He told the court that, while the non-service on the Senate President was an oversight that would be corrected immediately; the processes for the tribunal chairman were received by the secretary to the tribunal chairman.
The judge, Justice Sanusi Kado, therefore ordered that the processes and interim order be served on the tribunal chairman through substituted means. He ordered that notice should be placed on the wall of the tribunal’s office.
He also gave the order that the interim order made on January 14 restraining the defendants from further proceeding with the trial against the CJN should subsist.
The judge adjourned the matter to January 30 for hearing of motion on notice of the interlocutory injunction in the substantive suit.
The tribunal had adjourned its sitting in the case against the CJN to today. The tribunal chairman had ruled that the CJN’s application challenging the jurisdiction of the tribunal and the prosecution’s motion on notice would be taken together today.
The CJN, who was absent at the last sitting, is expected to appear before the tribunal today after an official of the tribunal confirmed to our reporter on January 14 that the CJN had personally received summons to appear before the tribunal.
His lawyers had argued last week that the CJN was not personally served, prompting the tribunal to order that the summons be served on him personally.
Aside the order of the industrial court restraining the tribunal from going ahead with the trial, a Federal High Court in Abuja had also issued two similar interim restraining orders in two separate suits brought before it to quash the trial before the tribunal.