Acting President Yemi Osinbajo has sworn in Justice Walter Onnoghen as the chief justice of Nigeria (CJN).
Osinbajo also conferred on the CJN the second highest honour of Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger (GCON).
The ceremony took place at the council chambers of the presidential villa, Abuja, on Tuesday morning.
Last Wednesday, the Senate confirmed Onnoghen’s appointment as CJN.
Before the confirmation,Onnoghen had been acting CJN since November 10, 2016, when his predecessor Mahmud Mohammed retired.
A controversy had brewed over President Muhammadu Buhari’s delay in sending his name to the senate for confirmation as CJN.
But the tension was doused when the acting President Osinbajo forwarded his name to the Senate for Confirmation as substantive CJN.
Senate screened and confirmed him on March 1.
Swearing him Tuesday, Osinbajo said President Muhammadu Buhari had asked him to let the new CJN know that he was assuming office at a time “when all arms of government suffers from loss of confidence from the people”.
He also said President Buhari expressed the belief that the tenure of the new CJN will help revive and sustain the people’s confidence.
Osinbajo said it was time to show Nigerians that the choice they made in bringing in the administration was the right one.
Speaking earlier, the new CJN said his complete loyalty was with the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
He pledged to continue to keep to his oath of office and solicited the cooperation of all Nigerians.
Onnoghen said the key to achieving good governance in Nigeria lies in respecting the rule of law.
“To Nigerians who had kept the faith, some have even fasted, I say a big thank you,” he said.
Part of the swearing-in ceremony was the investiture of the Grand Commander of the Niger, GCON, on the new CJN.
The award, Nigeria’s second highest national honour, was given by Osinbajo.
The event was witnessed by Onnoghen’s family, Senate President, Bukola Saraki, former CJN Mohammed Mahmud, Justices of the Supreme Court and other divisions, as well as Ministers.
The National Judicial Council (NJC), which had nominated Onnoghen for the position, renominated him on February 9 – a day before the expiration of his three-month tenure.
Sixty-six year-old Walter Samuel Onnoghen has been a Justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria since 2005.
He graduated from the University of Ghana at Legon, Ghana in 1977 and from the Nigerian Law School in Lagos in 1978.
Before joining the Supreme Court, he was a Judge in Cross River State and a Justice of the Court of Appeal.
Onnoghen was born on the 22 December 1950 at Okurike Town, Biase local government area of Cross Rivers State.
Onnoghen is the only CJN from the south in 30 years.