CJN: Niger Delta leaders urge Osinbajo to forward Justice Onnoghen’s nomination to Senate
From: Godwin Tsa, Abuja
Leaders from the Niger Delta region have called on the Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, to forward the name of Justice Walter Onnoghen to the Senate for confirmation as the substantive Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), as recommended by the National Judicial Council (NJC).
The leaders, under the platform of Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), maintained that the confirmation of Justice Onnoghen as the Chief Justice of Nigeria would forestall constitutional crisis.
The position of the group was reached after a meeting at the Abuja residence of former Information Minister, Chief Edwin Clark.
A statement by Senator Aniete Okon quoted PANDEF as saying it was conscious of the apparent Constitutional requirement and implications that would be thrown up should Justice Onnoghen not confirmed as the CJN.
According to the group, “It will not be out of place for the Acting President to send the name of the Honourable Justice to the Senate for confirmation as he did in the case of Mr. Magu of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
“This is in addition to the Acting President swearing in the Board members of National Population Commission.
The group warned that deviating from the aged long tradition of appointing the most senior Judge to head the nation’s judiciary would create unhealthy development and send wrong signals with dangerous speculation.
It lamented that the delay in the confirmation of Justice Onnoghen as the substantive CJN was taking political and ethnic colouration capable of destroying the judiciary.
Also speaking at the end of the meeting, the group Chairman, Obong Victor Attah, expressed confidence that President Buhari would not deviate from the aged long tradition on the appointment of the Chief Justice of Nigeria.
Meanwhile, PANDEF has commended the Acting President Yemi Osinbajo over his visit to the Niger Delta region, but warned that the visits should not take the place of that of the Committee set up by the region to negotiate with the Federal government over the crisis in the area.