Buhari accepts resignation of CJN, Appoints five Justices
President Muhammadu Buhari has accepted the voluntary retirement of suspended Justice Walter Onnoghen as Chief Justice of Nigeria, effective May 28, 2019. This is contained in a statement by the President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu. According to the statement issued on Sunday, the President thanked Onnoghen for his service to the country and wished him the best of retirement life.
Onnoghen was enmeshed in a false asset declaration scandal since January 2019, upon resuming office as CJN, failed to declare a domiciliary US dollar account, a domiciliary euro account, a domiciliary (pound sterling) account, an e-saver savings (naira) account and a naira account, all maintained with Standard Chartered Bank (Nig.) Ltd in Abuja as part of the compulsory asset declaration form.
Onnoghen, 68, was due for retirement in 2020, but he turned in his resignation letter as CJN on April 4, 2019, to save himself from prosecution.
In a statement, the President thanked Justice Onnoghen for his service to the Federal Republic of Nigeria and wished him the best of retirement life. Meanwhile, 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's spokesman, Garba Shehu made this known Sunday night.
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."