Tobi Soniyi in Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari has inaugurated Justice Samuel Walter Onnoghen as Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria.
It follows Onnoghen’s appointment by the president in accordance with section 230 (4) of the 1999 Constitution as amended.
Section 230 (4) of the Constitution is also instructive. It provides, “If the office of the Chief Justice of Nigeria is vacant or if the person holding the office is for any reason unable to perform the functions of the office, then until a person has been appointed to and has assumed the functions of that office, or until the person holding the office has resumed those functions, the president shall appoint the most senior justice of the Supreme Court to perform those functions.”
The National Judicial Council had recommended Justice Onnoghen, for consideration for appointment as CJN.
The president may have to regularise the appointment within the next 30 days.
He replaced Justice Mahmud Mohammed who retired after clocking the mandatory retirement age of 70.