President Muhammadu Buhari has accepted the voluntary retirement of Justice Walter Onnoghen as Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN).
A statement on Sunday by Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President (Media & Publicity) said Buhari’s acceptance of Onnoghen’s retirement took effect from 28 May, 2019.
The President thanked Justice Onnoghen for his service to the Federal Republic of Nigeria and wished him the best of retirement life.
Onnoghen had resigned his position on April 5, 2019, while being tried by the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) over false assets declaration.
Onnoghen had sent his resignation letter to Buhari barely 24 hours after the National Judicial Council (NJC) concluded investigating him for various allegations of misconduct.
Onnoghen was later convicted by the CCT for breach of Code of Conduct for Public Officers.
The CCT, Chairman, Danladi Umar, in his judgment, had ordered the immediate removal of Onnoghen from office as the CJN.
The CCT stripped Onnoghen of all offices earlier occupied, such as the Chairman of the National Judicial Council and also the chairmanship of the Federal Judicial Service Commission.
In the judgment, Onnoghen will forfeit the five accounts which he failed to declare as part of his assets.
The Danladi ordered the forfeiture of the money in the five accounts which Onnoghen allegedly failed to declare to the Federal Government.
Buhari had in January, 2019 suspended Onnoghen and appointed Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammed, as Acting CJN, an action that elicited lots of public criticism.
Meanwhile, 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.
The President 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.”