Buhari accepts Onnoghen’s voluntary retirement, wants 5 new Supreme Court judges appointed
President Muhammadu Buhari has accepted the voluntary retirement of Justice Walter Ononghen as the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) more than two months after he threw in the towel.
The president has also written to the acting CJN, Justice Justice Tanko Muhammad, to initiate the process of appointment of five new Justices of the Supreme Court.
These were disclosed in a statement issued in Abuja on Sunday night by Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President (Media & Publicity).
It said President Buhari thanked Justice Onnoghen for his service to the Federal Republic of Nigeria and wished him the best of retirement life.
Ononghen announced his retirement on April 5, 2019, following his suspension by the President and subsequent prosecution at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) for alleged false declaration of assets which he has denied.
On the Supreme Justices, the statement explained that the request was in line with the President’s desire to reposition the judiciary.
The statement read: “President Muhammadu Buhari has written the Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, Hon. Justice Tanko Muhammad, on the appointment of additional five Justices of the Supreme Court of Nigeria.
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.’’
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.”