Monday, 6 March 2017

Osinbajo inaugurates Onnoghen as 17th CJN

The Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, will on Tuesday inaugurate Justice Walter Onnoghen as the 17th Chief Justice of Nigeria.

The inauguration is coming almost a week after the Senate confirmed Onnoghen’s nomination by Osinbajo.

It is scheduled to hold at the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa, Abuja by 9am.

Shortly after taking his oath of office, Onnoghen may also be decorated with the national honour of the Grand Commander of Order of the Niger as customary with the inauguration of past CJNs.

After a screening session that lasted about an hour, the Senate had last Wednesday confirmed the CJN’s nomination.

The Presidency had on February 8 confirmed that the Acting President had sent Onnoghen’s nomination to the Upper Chamber of the National Assembly.

President Muhammadu Buhari who is currently on extended medical vacation in London had on November 10, 2016 inaugurated Onnoghen as acting CJN following the retirement of Justice Mahmud Mohammed at the attainment of the mandatory 70 years retirement age.

The National Judicial Commission had earlier forwarded Onnoghen’s name to the President to be named the new CJN based on the recommendation of the Federal Judicial Service Commission.

There were speculations that Buhari was not favourably disposed to appointing a CJN outside the North.

Onnoghen who hails from Cross-River State is the first Southern jurist to head the judiciary in about 30 years.

Justice Ayo Gabriel Irikefe who retired in 1987 was the last Southern CJN.

Onnoghen was born in 1950 at Okurike, Biase Local Government Area of Cross Rivers State, and was appointed to the Supreme Court bench in 2005 (12 years ago).

He will clock 70 on December 20, 2020.
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