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Buhari accepts Onnoghen’s Voluntary Resignation



President Muhammadu Buhari (r) congratulating Justice Walter Onnoghen after his inauguration as the Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria at the Presidential Villa in Abuja on Thursday (10/11/16) 8362/10/11/2016/Callistus Ewelike/NAN

President Muhammadu Buhari has accepted the voluntary resignation of former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen.

Buhari’s SSA on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu made this known in a statement on Sunday, saying the president “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,” the statement added.

Onnoghen had written a retirement letter in April  after the National Judicial Council (NJC) asked him to do so. The NJC probed a complaint that he abused his office by not properly declaring his assets.

He was earlier arraigned before the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) which gave a controversial directive for his suspension.

Buhari has also written the Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, Hon. Justice Tanko Muhammad, on the appointment of additional five Justices of the Supreme Court of Nigeria.

The President, according to Shehu’s statement, 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 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.’’