Onnoghen will be appearing before the Danladi Yakubu led-Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) over alleged failure to declare some of his assets as required by law and for operating bank domiciliary foreign currency accounts.
Constitutional lawyer, Sebastine Hon (SAN) in a telephone chat with Daily Trust on Saturday, January 12, 2018, said the number of eminent lawyers that have volunteered to defend the CJN might even be more than 150.
He described the six-count criminal charge against the CJN as “a deliberate attempt to gag the judiciary”.
He urged the CJN not to heed to what he termed as an “unholy call” for him to step aside.
“While I know that the Chief Justice of Nigeria does not enjoy immunity from criminal prosecution, I see this move by the Federal Government as dangerously political and tendentious,” he said.
“Suddenly, we woke to see a petition leaked to the informal or social media, allegedly received by the Code of Conduct on 9th January, 2019.
“Suddenly, we are told charges have been filed against the CJN. Suddenly the Presidency is reportedly asking him to step aside! Was he interrogated or interviewed and his own reactions obtained?”
Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP); its presidential aspirant, Atiku Abubakar; the Coalition of Political Parties (CUPP) and other top politicians have alleged that the charges against Onnoghen “is a move by the Muhammadu Buhari-led All Progressives Congress (APC) government to rig the 2019 general elections”.
These claims were contained in separate statements made available to journalists on Saturday.