President Muhammadu Buhari has appointed Justice Walter Nkanu Onnoghen as the acting Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), and will swear him in today, November 10, 2016.
In a text message to This Day, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Malam Shehu Garba, on Wednesday confirmed that the president would inaugurate an acting CJN later today.
“An acting CJN will be sworn in by President Muhammadu Buhari at 2.00 pm Thursday,” he stated in the text message.
“The Attorney-General of the Federation will present the person to the president tomorrow for swearing-in,” he added.
Another reliable source also said that the most senior justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Walter Onnoghen, might be the choice of the president in line with Section 230 (4) of the 1999 Constitution as amended:
The section states that: “If the office of the 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.”
By virtue of Section 231 of the 1999 Constitution as amended, it is the prerogative of the president to appoint a CJN.
It was learnt that arrangements had been concluded to conduct the swearing-in at exactly 2.00pm today inside the Council Chambers of the Aso Rock Presidential Villa in Abuja.
Bear in mind, the current CJN, Justice Mahmud Muhammed, will retire today having attained the retirement age of 70.