President Muhammadu Buhari, on Sunday, accepted the resignation of former Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen, from the service of the Nigeria’s judiciary.
President Buhari also wrote the Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Tanko Muhammad, directing him to appoint five new Justices of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, had declared in a statement on Sunday.
The statement read in part: “The President wrote: ‘‘Pursuant to the provisions of Section 230(2) A&B of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), I am pleased to request that you initiate in earnest the process of appointing additional five Justices of the Supreme Court of Nigeria to make the full complement of 21 Justices as provided by the aforementioned provisions of the Constitution.
‘‘This is in line with the Government’s Agenda of repositioning the Judiciary in general and Supreme Court in particular for greater efficiency, with a view to reducing the backlogs of appeals pending at the Supreme Court.
‘‘Please accept, your Lordship, the assurances of my highest regards.’’
The statement further read: “Meanwhile, President Buhari has accepted the voluntary retirement from service of Hon. Justice Walter Onnoghen as Chief Justice of Nigeria, effective from May 28, 2019.
“The President thanked Justice Onnoghen for his service to the Federal Republic of Nigeria and wished him the best of retirement life.”
Apparently, the acceptance of Onnoghen’s resignation nullifies the judgment of the Chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), Danladi Umar, who sought to deny Onnoghen of his retirement entitlements. Umar would have been involved in futile political war to destroy Onnoghen.