NJC receives Onnoghen’s nomination as CJN

•FJSC to hold interview for new council boss Oct 11, 12

National Judicial Council (NJC), on Wednesday, formally received the nomination of Justice Walter Nkanu Onnoghen as the new Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN).

Also, the Federal Judicial Service Commission (FJSC), on Wednesday, forwarded his nomination to the council.

The council is to recommend him to President Muhammadu Buhari as the appointing authority.

Buhari is expected to forward his name to the Senate for confirmation.

Onnoghen is the most senior justice of the Supreme Court.

His emergence, despite initial moves against it, has sustained the succession-by-seniority arrangement in the appointment of the head of the judicial arm of government.

Nigerian Tribune learnt last night that the council was likely to meet within a fortnight to recommend him to Buhari, considering the limited time between now and November 10, when incumbent Justice Mohammed Mahmud will retire at age 70. Cross-River-born Onnoghen is the first Southern CJN-designate in almost 29 years.

The Northern part has produced seven CJN in succession.

Three names were sent by FJSC on Wednesday, with NJC expected to recommend a stand-by alongside Onnoghen to Buhari.

The stand-in will become the nominee if Buhari rejected Onnoghen.

No appointing authority has ever rejected any CJN-designate.

Nigerian Tribune can also disclose that the interview session for nominees for the soon-to-be-vacant position of the secretary to the NJC will hold on October 11 and 12.

A panel to be raised by the FJSC will conduct the interview for the reported four final nominees.

Incumbent secretary, Halilu Danladi will exit March next year.

The Chief Registrar of the Supreme court, Ahmed Saleh Gambo, is widely touted to clinch the job.

Others in the race are the Chief Registrar of the Court of Appeal, Aliyu Ibrahim, secretary of the Body of Benchers, Mrs H Turaki and secretary of the National Judicial Institute, Abba Maidama.