Buhari Swears In Acting Chief Justice Onnoghen, Withholds Senate Nomination (PHOTOS)

Buhari Swears In Acting Chief Justice Onnoghen, Withholds Senate Nomination (PHOTOS)

By Ekamma Jacobs | Staff Reporter on November 10, 2016
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L-R: Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, President Muhammadu Buhari, and the new acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen after his swearing in on Thursday, Nov 10, 2016 | State House Photo

President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday, November 10, 2016 inaugurated Supreme Court Justice Walter Onnoghen as the acting Chief Justice of Nigeria.

This is following the retirement of Justice Mahmud Mohammed on the attainment of the mandatory 70 year-retirement age.

Onnoghen’s appointment in acting capacity simply means he is expected to act until the name of a substantive CJN is forwarded to the Nigerian Senate for confirmation.

President Muhammadu Buhari and dignatories at the swearing in of Justice Walter Onnoghen as the acting chief justice of Nigeria on Thursday, Nov 10, 2016 | State House Photo
President Muhammadu Buhari and dignatories at the swearing in of Justice Walter Onnoghen as the acting chief justice of Nigeria on Thursday, Nov 10, 2016 | State House Photo

Statutorily, Onnoghen’s name should be forwarded to the Senate for confirmation as he is the next in line to Justice Mahmoud in terms of seniority.

The delay by President Buhari in forwarding Onnoghen’s name to Senate for confirmation has been shrouded in the politics of ethnicity.

The National Judicial Council, NJC, has recommended Onnoghen to President Buhari for the position. The council’s decision was communicated in a press statement a few weeks ago.

Onnoghen is from Nigeria’s South-South minority, a geo-political zone Buhari accused of contributing only 5% support towards his election as president.

The brief inauguration ceremony witnessed by top government officials took place inside the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

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