Let Buhari handle issues his own way – Justice Walter On­noghen

by on February 3, 2017

Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter On­noghen, has broken his silence on the raging con­troversy over the failure of President Muhammadu Buhari to send his name to the Senate for confirmation as the country’s substantive CJN.

Since he emerged the Act­ing CJN, prominent Nigerians, including former CJNs, the Ni­gerian Bar Association (NBA), the National Assembly Cau­cus and Civil Society Organi­sations (CSOs), have kicked at President Buhari’s apparent re­luctance to forward his name to the Senate as required by the constitution so he could be con­firmed as the substantive CJN.

President Buha­ri has severally accused judges in the country, including those of them on the Supreme Court Bench of corruption.

Onnoghen has been acting as CJN since November 2016. The constitution requires that an Act­ing CJN should only function in such a portfolio for no more than three months. Onnoghe’s period of acting lapses on February 10.

In a reaction to rising anger over the non-transmission of his name to the Senate by Buhari, Justice Onnoghen pleaded with Nigerians to exercise patience with President Buhari and allow him (Buhari) handle the issue his own way.

Onnoghen, in a statement he issued yesterday through his Senior Special Assistant on Me­dia, Mr. Awassam Don-Bassey, appealed to Nigerians to allow the President a “freehand” to car­ry out his constitutional duties of appointing a substantive CJN.

He also advised Nigerians to support President Buhari in his quest to develop the country.

All the appropriate judicial bodies, including the National Judicial Council (NJC) had en­dorsed Onnoghen and submit­ted his name to Buhari for the office, in line with the procedure and the law.

Justice Onnoghen’s statement read: “The Honourable Act­ing Chief Justice of Nigeria, His Lordship, the Hon. Justice Walter Samuel Nkanu Onnoghen, wish­es to appeal to Nigerians to allow Mr. President, Muhammadu Bu­hari, a freehand to perform his constitutional duties concern­ing the appointment of a sub­stantive Chief Justice of Nigeria.

“Honourable Justice On­noghen believes the President does not need any threat or ul­timatum to perform his con­stitutional duties and there­fore dissociates himself from those individuals and groups making such demands on the President.

“However, the Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria and the Nige­rian Judiciary sincerely appre­ciate the interest of Nigerians towards the appointment of a substantive Chief Justice of Ni­geria to oversee the affairs of the Judiciary as the third arm of government, but believes that issuing an ultimatum to Mr. President appears to be go­ing too far and smacks of dis­respect for the exalted office of the President.

“The Acting Chief Justice therefore appeals for caution on the issue of the appointment of the Chief Justice of Nigeria as Mr. President goes about his constitutional duties, espe­cially considering the fact that the given time for him to act as Chief Justice of Nigeria has not expired.

“In conclusion, the Acting Chief Justice wishes to thank all Nigerians for their support and continued prayers, while call­ing on them to back the Fed­eral Government in the fight to make the country a better place for all.”

Be the first to comment!
Leave a reply »


Leave a Response