Buhari accepts Onnoghen’s voluntary retirement

Justice Walter Onnoghen

President Muhammadu Buhari has accepted the voluntary retirement from service of embattled Justice Walter Onnoghen as Chief Justice of Nigeria effective from May 28, 2019.

This was disclosed in a statement by presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina, on Sunday evening.

“The President thanked Justice Onnoghen for his service to the Federal Republic of Nigeria and wished him the best of retirement life,” the statement reads.

Onnoghen was convicted by the Code of Conduct Tribunal on Thursday, April 18, 2019, for false assets declaration and subsequently banned from holding public office for 10 years.

Meanwhile, President Buhari has written the acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Tanko Muhammad, on the appointment of additional five Justices of the Supreme Court of Nigeria.

Adesina’s statement quoted the president as writing: “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.”