The Court of Appeal has held that the ex parte order obtained by the Federal government at the Code of Conduct Tribunal directing the former Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen, to step aside was shrouded in secrecy.
The three-man panel of the court further held that the said ex parte order was in breached of the fundamental rights to fair hearing of Justice Onnoghen.
Regardless, the court held that since judgment had already been delivered by the CCT on the substantive case, the ex parte order was already been spent and therefore had no useful purpose in law.
According to the court, “the interlocutory appeal cannot serve any useful purpose since judgment has already been delivered on the substantive case.
The ex parte order is already spent and is of no use.
The mode of securing the ex parte order was shrouded in secrecy. The prosecution had without waiting for the next adjourned date gone back to the tribunal to secure the ex parte order.
Justice must never be shrouded in secrecy. Prosecution must conduct proceedings in the public domain.
In the instance appeal, the prosecution went behind to obtain the ex parte order which affected the interest of the appellant.
His fundamental right to fair hearing was breached by the conduct of the prosecution. This should not be so.
The court however dismissed Onnoghen’s appeal bordering on the warrant of arrest on the grounds that there were no documents placed before it to enable it determine the appeal.
The court, however, noted that the issue of bench warrant had been overtaken by events as the former CJN voluntary submitted himself to the tribunal. The appeal is hereby struck out.