Buhari Inaugurates A New Acting CJN Today

President Muhammadu Buhari will today (Thursday) inaugurate Justice Walter Onnoghen as acting Chief Justice of Nigeria.

The decision to inaugurate a CJN in acting capacity is to avoid a vacuum in the judiciary as the incumbent, Justice Mahmud Mohammed, attains the mandatory 70 years retirement age.

Findings by Punch indicates that the acting CJN would be inaugurated at about 2pm in the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Justice Onnoghen is the most senior Justice of the Supreme Court after Mohammed.

The National Judicial Council was said to have earlier forwarded the name of Justice Onnoghen and 2 others for the President to pick any of the justices as the new CJN based on the recommendations of the Federal Judicial Service Commission.

According to the law, the President is expected to forward the name of the nominee to the Senate for confirmation. As of the time of reporting, Buhari had not sent such communication to the Senate, raising fears that there would be a vacuum in the leadership of the judiciary from Thursday.

But a competent source confirmed that an acting CJN would be inaugurated on Thursday, but refused to name any of the justices who the President had picked.

An acting CJN will be sworn in by President Muhammadu Buhari at 2pm tomorrow (Thursday).”

When asked who the person was, the source advised the correspondent to get across to the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN), on the issue.

This will also be the first time in the history of Nigeria that a person will be appointed to the office of the CJN in acting capacity.

Those whose names were forwarded to NJC are said to be Justices Onnoghen, Tanko Muhammad and Justice Suleiman Galadima.