Hon. Justice Walter J. Onnoghen, Is The Chief Justice of Nigeria

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On the 1st day of March, 2017, the Honourable National House of Assembly of the Federal Republic of Nigeria confirmed and stamped the nomination of Hon. Justice Walter Justice Onnoghen as the Chief Justice of Nigeria. The confirmation came after a screening session by the members of the National House of Assembly, the scrutiny of the confirmation of the appointment and screening exercise conducted by the lawmakers of the National House of Assembly lasted for over an hour.

The National House of Assembly commences the screening exercise of Hon. Justice Walter J. Onnoghen confirmation process for the vacant post of the Chief Justice of Nigeria. Hon. Justice Walter J. Onnoghen was the acting Chief Justice of Nigeria pending the confirmation of the nominee that will be forwarded to the National House of Assembly by the executive arm of government through the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

On 21st February 2017, the executive arm of government sent the name of the Hon. Justice Walter J. Onnoghen to the National House of Assembly through the acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo.

The Speaker of the National House of Assembly, Senator Bukola Saraki announced to the members of the Assembly the receipt of a nomination letter from the executive arm of government, through the acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, asking the National House of Assembly to confirm Hon. Justice Walter J. Onnoghen as the substantive Chief Justice of Nigeria.

The acting President wrote a letter to the National House of Assembly that following the recommendation of the National Judicial Council (NJC) to the President, I hereby notify you of the appointment of Hon. Justice Walter J. Onnoghen as Chief Justice of Nigeria.

I will quickly explain the procedure for appointment of Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) as enshrined in the Nigeria 1999 Constitution as amended as follows:

  • The Federal Judicial Service Commission (FJSC); the Commission has power to advise the National Judicial Council (NJC) in nominating person for appointment, as respects appointments to the office of the Chief Justice of Nigeria;
  • The National Judicial Council (NJC); the Council has power to

(a) recommend to the President from among the list of persons submitted to it by – (i) the Federal Judicial Service Commission (NJC), the persons for the appointment to the office of the Chief Justice of Nigeria (ii) to recommend to the President for appointment, from the list of persons submitted by the Judicial Service Committee of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, persons for appointment to the office of the Chief Justice of Nigeria

At the National House of Assembly session of the confirmation of Hon. Chief Justice Walter J. Onnoghen as the Chief Justice of Nigeria screening process, the National House of Assembly federal lawmakers questioned Hon. Justice Walter J. Onnoghen on issues of the independence of the judiciary, judicial reforms, corruption in the Judiciary, frivolous injunctions, sanitization of the judicial arm of government as well as arbitrary disobedience of Court orders by members of the public particularly high net worth individual personality and politicians.

Hon. Justice Walter J. Onnoghen maintained that the independence of the judiciary would continue under his watch and the integrity and sanity of the judicial arm of government will be protected at all time.

The Hon. Justice Walter J. Onnoghen, however warned the general public that Nigeria would be in serious trouble the moment the judiciary is politicized and its independence usurped by other arm of the government that is the executive and the legislature.

The Hon. Justice Walter J. Onnoghen after answering series of questions put to him by the members of the National House of Assembly during the scrutinizing and confirmation, the Hon. Justice Walter Justice Onnoghen did not disappoint all and sundry with his brilliant and assertive answers to all the questions.

The Speaker of the National House of Assembly, Senator Bukola Saraki, thereafter, put the question of whether or not to confirm the Hon. Justice Walter Justice Onnoghen as the Chief Justice of Nigeria to members of the Assembly for his approval before the National House of Assembly.

All the lawmakers expressed their excitement with the Hon. Justice Walter J. Onnoghen and unanimously accepted and agreed to his confirmation as the Chief Justice of Nigeria.

The Hon. Justice Walter Justice Onnoghen having satisfied the members of the National House of Assembly was asked to take a bow and step out of the screening session, the Hon. Justice Walter J. Onnoghen took a bow and left the chamber.

The Speaker of the National House of Assembly, Senator Bukola Saraki thereafter pronounced the confirmation that the Hon. Justice Walter Justice Onnoghen is hereby confirmed, accepted by the general members of the national house of assembly, the representatives of the Nigerian people as Chief Justice of Nigeria with immediate effect.

The members of the National House of assembly and the Speaker urged the appointed Chief Justice of Nigeria, Hon. Justice Walter J. Onnoghen to build a closer relationship with the other arms of government and the Speaker of the National House of assembly also said that the Legislative arm of the government look forward to a productive relationship with the legislative arm of government for the interest of our great country to ensure that the judiciary is the last hope of the common man.

The Senate has confirmed the appointment of Justice Walter Onnoghen as the Chief Justice of Nigeria.

The Speaker of the National House of Assembly, Senator Bukola Saraki, congratulated the new Chief Justice of Nigeria on his appointment.

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