By Suleiman Adamu
President Muhammadu Buhari has accepted the ‘voluntary’ retirement from service of the Honourable Justice Walter Onnoghen as Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), 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.
Justice Onnoghen was forced out of office by President Buhari in an operation many described as a coup d’etat before the commencement of the 2019 general elections to prevent him from inaugurating the 2019 Election Petition Tribunals.
Meanwhile, President Buhari has written the Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, the Honourable Justice Tanko Muhammad, on the appointment of additional five Justices of the Supreme Court of Nigeria.
Mr Garba Shehu, President Buhari’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, disclosed this in in a press statement signed and delivered to The Atlantic Post in Abuja on Sunday, June 9.
According to the statement, 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.’’