President Muhammadu Buhari will on Thursday (today) inaugurate Justice Walter Onnoghen as the acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, The PUNCH has learnt.
The decision to inaugurate a CJN in acting capacity, it was learnt on Wednesday, was to avoid a vacuum in the judiciary as the incumbent, Justice Mahmud Mohammed, attains the mandatory 70 years retirement age. The PUNCH learnt that the acting CJN would be inaugurated at about 2pm inside the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Justice Onnoghen is the most senior Justice of the Supreme Court after Mohammed. The National Judicial Council was said to have earlier forwarded the name of Justice Onnoghen along two others for the President to pick any of the three justices as the new CJN based on the recommendations of the Federal Judicial Service Commission.
According to the law, the President is expected to forward the name of the nominee to the Senate for confirmation.
As of the time of filing this report, the President had not sent such communication to the Senate, raising fears that there would be a vacuum in the leadership of the judiciary from Thursday. But a competent source confirmed to one of our correspondents that an acting CJN would be inaugurated on Thursday, but refused to name any of the justices who the President had picked. Read more