The National Judicial Council (NJC) has written to acting President Yemi Osinbajo asking him to re-appoint the acting Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen in an acting capacity, pending his screening and confirmation by the Senate as the substantive CJN.
The decision to resend Justice Onnoghen’s name confirmed THISDAY’s exclusive report yesterday that the NJC would at its emergency meeting recommend his re-appointment in an acting capacity, pending his confirmation by the Senate.
Acting President Osinbajo on Tuesday transmitted Justice Onnoghen’s name to the Senate for confirmation as the substantive CJN. The need for the council’s emergency meeting yesterday in Abuja at which Justice Onnoghen, who chairs the NJC presided, had arisen due to the lack of sufficient time for the Senate to screen and confirm him before his tenure as the acting CJN elapses on Friday.
An NJC source explained that the recommendation by the council for his reappointment as acting CJN was done to prevent a situation where Onnoghen would have to step down by Friday and create a vacuum.
Onnoghen took over as the acting CJN on November 10, 2016. His tenure in an acting capacity will elapse on Friday.