CJN: Osinbajo set to send Onnoghen’s name to Senate

The Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, is set to send the name of the Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, to the National Assembly for confirmation as the substantive CJN, according to a report in Punch.

Justice Walter Onnoghen was named acting CJN by President Mohammadu Buhari, on the 10, November 2016, following the retirement of Justice Mahmud Mohammed.

There have been speculations that Buhari is not ready to send the name of Onnoghen to the Senate for confirmation

The report claim that Osinbajo was set to send Onnoghen’s name to the Senate this week to beat the February 10 date, which the Supreme Court’s Justice acting appointment is expected to expire.

A source familiar with the arrangement said the nomination would be sent to the Senate on Tuesday or Wednesday (today).

“I can confirm to you that Onnoghen’s name will be sent to the Senate this week. The name will be sent today (Tuesday) or Wednesday before February 10 that his acting appointment will expire,” the source stated.

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When asked what was responsible for the delay in sending his name since he was recommended, the source said the government had been busy carrying out background check on him following the recent searchlight on the judiciary.

“We are all witnesses to the recent discoveries in the judiciary. The government needs to be sure that whoever is going to be put at the head of that arm of government has a clean bill of health.

“The background checks have been concluded and the government is satisfied with its findings,” the source added.

There are, however, fears that the Senate may not consider Onnoghen’s nomination immediately as the National Assembly is currently on recess to allow committee’s work on the 2017 Appropriation Bill currently before the lawmakers.

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The Senior Special Assistant to the Acting President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Laolu Akande, declined comment on the matter.

If his nomination is confirmed as the nation’s 17th CJN, Onnoghen, who hails from Cross River State, will become the first southern justice to head the judiciary in about 30 years.