EKITI State governor, Mr Ayodele Fayose, has raised the alarm over the appointment of Justice Walter Onnoghen as the acting Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN).
The governor said the acting appointment was “either a grand plot to deprive him of his well-deserved appointment as CJN, because he is from the South-South or that some cabals want to hold him in the jugular, demanding him to pervert justice before his confirmation as substantive CJN.
In a statement issued in Ado-Ekiti by his Special Assistant on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, Fayose said it was strange that despite the fact that National Judicial Council (NJC) recommended only Justice Onnoghen to President Muhammadu Buhari for appointment as the CJN, in line with its rules, his name had not been sent to the Senate for confirmation.
The governor said this was the first time Nigeria would have an acting CJN, with a president fully on ground, adding that “as of the time the NJC recommended Justice Onnoghen to President Buhari, it was 28 clear days to the November 10 retirement date of Justice Mahmud Mohammed.”
It will be recalled that during the administration of the late President Umaru Yar’Adua, an acting CJN was named because the president was indisposed at that time.
The governor lamented that the legislative arm had been subdued by the executive arm of the government, adding that “there is now the grand plot to subdue the judiciary.”
Fayose, thereafter, said playing politics with the judiciary, especially at the CJN level, was dangerous to the survival of democracy, while he urged Justice Onnoghen to do his job without fear or favour, “bearing in mind that it is only God that put people in positions.”