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Onnoghen confirmed as Nigeria’s chief justice

By Tonye Bakare   |   01 March 2017   |   12:08 pm

Justice Walter Onnoghen

Justice Walter Onnoghen has been confirmed as the Chief Justice of Nigeria by the Nigerian Senate after occupying the position for more than three months in an acting capacity.

His confirmation made the first CJN from the southern part of Nigeria in 30 years.

Onnoghen was sworn-in by President Muhammadu Buhari on November 10, 2016, after the retirement of the immediate past CJN Justice Mahmud Mohammed. His appointment is in line with the tradition of appointing chief justices based on seniority and in accordance with section 230 subsection (iv) and section 231 subsection (I) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

His confirmation on Wednesday followed his nomination by Nigeria’s acting president, Yemi Osinbajo, who sent his name to the Senate on February 8, just two days before the expiration of his three-month acting tenure

“Following the recommendation of the National Judicial Council (NJC), I hereby notify you of the appointment of Hon. Justice Walter Onnoghen as Chief Justice of Nigeria,” Osinbajo said in a letter sent to the Senate.

The President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki, said that “the screening, clearance and entire exercise was another milestone in our democratic process.

“We hope that he will continue to ensure that the judiciary is the last hope of the common man.”

He called on the CJN to build a closer relationship with the other arms of government.

“We look forward to a productive relationship with the legislative arm of government for the interest of our great country, ” Saraki said.

The Senate president congratulated Onnoghen and wished him a fruitful tenure as the Chief Justice of Nigeria.

Before his confirmation, Onnoghen acknowledged that the Nigerian judiciary is flawed and expressed his readiness to use his tenure to stamp out corruption.

“We all agree there is corruption in the Judiciary” Onnoghen said. “We are working to stem this and encourage transparency in our dealings.”




  • Emeka K Duru

    Congratulations, Chief Justice.

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