The instability encompassing progression to the workplace of the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) has endured as the Presidency said on Wednesday that an acting CJN would be confirmed today by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The president’s inability to delegate a substitution for Justice Mahmud Mohammed, whose occupancy ceased by 12 midnight Wednesday, had undermined to make an initiative vacuum in the legal.
Malam Shehu Garba, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, confirmed that there was no possibility of perplexity and uncertainty as the president would initiate an acting CJN later today.
He also said that “an acting Chief Justice of Nigeria will be sworn in at 2 pm today by President Muhammadu Buhari. The CJN will be presented by the Attorney-General of the Federation to the president to swear in.”
According to the sources, the President might select the name of our most senior and experienced justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Walter Onnoghen, in accordance with Section 230 (4) of the 1999 Constitution, which says: “If the workplace of the Chief Justice of Nigeria is empty or if the individual holding the workplace is for any reason not able to execute out the elements of the workplace, then until a man has been delegated to and has accepted the elements of that office, or until the individual holding the workplace has continued those capacities, the president might name the most senior equity of the Supreme Court to implement those roles.”
Section 231 of the 1999 Constitution clearly states that it is the privilege of the president to name a CJN.
Section 231 (1) unequivocally states: “The election of a man to the workplace of Chief Justice of Nigeria might be made by the President on the proposal of the National Judicial Council subject to acceptance of such approval by the Senate.”
Justice Onnoghen was even recommended by the National Judicial Council (NJC) for appointment as the CJN, in a meeting held on 11 October 2016. However, the procedure of selection was delayed by the disappointment of the president to demonstrate his acknowledgement of the NJC proposal by sending its candidate to the Senate for affirmation.
In spite of the fact that in law, the President is not compelled to acknowledge the NJC suggestion, he could likewise not sidestep the gathering in making the arrangement. In the event that for any reason, the president does not acknowledge the NJC suggestion, he is at freedom to request that the Council prescribe to him another appropriate possibility for the workplace.
By swearing in somebody in an acting limit today, the President would have enacted this stipulation even as he leaves in hold the way toward naming a nominal chief justice of the organisation.
Last Monday, Chief Sebastian’s Hon, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, approached the president to act with dispatch and guarantee that the name of the following CJN was sent to the Senate for approval. He also expressed that it was alarming that the name of the following CJN had not been sent to the Senate with not exactly a week prior to the officeholder Justice Mohammed’s resignation.
He further went on to say: “The residency of office of the occupant Chief Justice of Nigeria, Mahmud Mohammed, will terminate at 12 midnight on 9 November 2016. The name of Justice Walter Onnoghen, the following most Senior Justice of the Supreme Court, has since 10 October 2016, been sent to the president, who is supposed to forward it to the Senate for attestation. But until this minute, Mr. President has not sent Justice Onnoghen’s name to the Senate for affirmation. This is terrifying, without a doubt.”
“An ideal opportunity to act is soon, as the Senate must affirm Justice Onnoghen most recent on Tuesday, to facilitate empower his swearing-in just before or soon after Justice Mahmud bows out.”
“The picture of the Judiciary has plunged in the late times, and Mr. President must be seen to keep any further mark on the picture of this vital arm of government.”
“Mr. President should act wisely by sending Justice Onnoghen’s name for affirmation – since he is only qualified for possessing the seat of the CJN for near 30 years.”
“This motion will go far in solidifying our sectional partitions.”