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