Walter Onnoghen sworn-in as acting Chief Justice of Nigeria

Timothy Choji, Abuja

President Muhammadu Buhari has sworn-in Justice Walter Onnoghen as the Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria.

Justice Onnoghen, who replaces Justice Mahmoud Mohammed, was sworn-in at the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The swearing-in of a new Chief Justice for Nigeria was necessitated by the retirement of the immediate past Head of the Judiciary, Justice Mahmoud Mohammed and the provisions of section 231 of the Nigerian constitution.

Furthermore, at its emergency meeting last month, the National Judicial Council recommended Justice Walter Onnoghen for appointment as the Chief Justice of Nigeria, thus his appointment in a an acting capacity by President Muhammadu Buahri, whose prerogative it is to do so.

In his remarks after swearing-in the new head of the Judiciary, President Buhari urged that arm of government to seek solutions to some of the problems confronting the nation.

“The new Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria is coming at a time that the institution he is going to head is expected to play its role well at this trying time of our nation in terms of the three identifiable problems this country is facing, which include physical security, the problem of the economy and corruption,” he said.

President Buhari emphasized that the three arms of government would join hands in moving the country forward as well as ensure that the economy is revived, to boost business activities.

The Acting Chief Justice on his part, pledged to cooperate with the other arms of government in addressing the problem of corruption, especially within the judiciary.

“At this stage in our development, I assure our President of the fullest support of the third arm of government in the war against corruption and misconduct in the judiciary,” Justice Onnoghen stated

Justice Onnoghen, who thanked the President for finding him worthy, further said he will build on the successes of his predecessors.

“Where my predecessors stopped, I intend to carry on from there. I will modify certain areas with the ultimate goal of having a better judiciary befitting our dear nation Nigeria,” he said.

Sixty six year old Justice Walter Onnoghen is the most senior Justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria and also a Justice of the Gambian Supreme Court.

He is from Cross River state and started his career in 1979 after graduating from the Nigerian Law School, Lagos and completing the mandatory National Youth Service Corps NYSC.