Tuesday, January 31, 2017 5:53 pm
A lawyer and rights activist, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, on Tuesday filed a suit seeking a restraining order on the appointment of a new Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) other than Justice Walter Onnoghen.
Onnoghen, 67, Supreme Court Judge since 2015, from Cross River, a 1977 law graduate of the University of Ghana, Legon,and Nigerian Law School, Lagos in 1978, was sworn in as the acting Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) by President Muhammadu Buahri.
Joined as co-defendants in the suit are the Senate, the National Judicial Council, Justice Walter Onnoghen and the Attorney-General of the Federation.
Adegboruwa asked the court to direct that the name of Justice Walter Onnoghen be forwarded forthwith to the Senate for confirmation as the Chief Justice of Nigeria.
He asked the court for an order of injunction restraining the appointment of another candidate for presentation to the Senate for the office of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, apart from Justice Walter Onnoghen.
The lawyer argued that Onnoghen was the most senior justice of the Supreme Court who had been selected and recommended by the National Judicial Council.
Adegboruwa also asked the court to stop the Senate from accepting, deliberating upon or considering the nomination of any other candidate that may be forwarded to it, apart from Onnoghen.
The human rights activist also sought an order of injunction to restrain the National Judicial Council from entertaining any request to consider another candidate for the office of the Chief Justice of Nigeria.
Adegboruwa also prayed the court to direct Justice Walter Onnoghen to assume and take over the functions of the office of the Chief Justice of Nigeria,’’until he is confirmed or attains the mandatory age of 70 years.’’
He further argued that it had never been the style of the executive to leave a vacuum in the highest judicial office of the land.
Adegboruwa stated that by the provisions of the 1999 Constitution, the President had no discretion in the choice of candidates to occupy the office of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, other than the person recommended by the National Judicial Council.
No date has been fixed for hearing of the suit. (NAN)