Acting President Yemi Osinbajo has asked the Senate to confirm Justice Walter Onnoghen as the Chief Justice of Nigeria.
he did so in a letter to the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, in which he asked the Senate to confirm the Acting CJN in a substantive capacity.
Onnoghen’s three-month tenure as Acting CJN will elapse onFriday and it is doubtful if the Senate will reconvene from recess to screen the Cross River State indigenes.
Metrostar learnt that in order to beat the deadline for his confirmation, Osinbajo would extend the acting period pending the reconvening of the Senate and Onnoghen’s confirmation.
The National Judicial Council is expected to hold an emergency meeting on Wednesday to recommend the extension in line with Section 231(4) and (5) of the constitution.
The section states: “If the office of Chief Justice of Nigeria is vacant or if the person holding the office is for any reason unable to perform the functions of the office, then until a person has been appointed to and has assumed the functions of that office, or until the person holding the office has resumed those functions, the President shall appoint the most Senior Justice of the Supreme Court to perform those functions.
“Except on the recommendation of the NJC, the appointment pursuant to the provisions of sub-section (4) of this section shall cease to have effect after the expiration of three months from the date of such appointment and the President shall not reappoint a person whose appointment has lapsed.”
Onnoghen was born on December 22, 1950 in Biase,Cross River State and was a judge in the state’s judicial service before becoming a federal judge.
Osinbajo’s letter thus lays to rest controversy over his delayed confirmation.