Buhari Accepts Voluntary Retirement Of Onnoghen Two Months After CCT Conviction

The voluntary retirement of Justice Walter Onnoghen as the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) has been finally accepted by President Muhammadu Buhari according to reports by THE NATION.

The President as well have written to Justice Tanko Muhammad, the Acting CJN, for five additional Justices to be added to the Supreme Court of Nigeria.

This was contained in a statement issued by Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, to President Buhari, in which he 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 an 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,’’ it stated.

The statement further contained the following:

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

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

This is coming barely two months after the former Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), was convicted by the Code of Conduct Tribunal over charges of a false declaration of assets as he had failed to reveal the money which was held in his foreign bank accounts.

The tribunal had held that Onnoghen would have to give up the money which was found in the five bank accounts.

When the President placed him on a suspension in January over the charges, there was a huge outcry in the country particularly from members of the opposition.

The President was accused of tampering with the Judiciary, keeping in mind that the outcome of the Presidential election which was to be held in February, might be challenged in court.

Upon the conviction of Onnoghen however, the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) did not reveal the amount of money found in the five foreign bank accounts.

The former CJN was also banned by the CCT for 10 years, from holding any public office in the country.

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