Saturday 24th June, 2017
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CJN's Appointment: NASS Caucus demands confirmation of Onnoghen

CJN's Appointment: NASS Caucus demands confirmation of Onnoghen

The Cross River State Cau­cus in the National As­sembly has decried the failure of President Muham­madu Buhari to send the name of Justice Walter Onnoghen to the Senate for confirmation as the Chief Justice of Nigeria.
The Caucus, which com­prised lawmakers from the state in the House of Repre­sentatives and the Senate, asked President Buhari to with imme­diate effect, send the name of Justice Walter Onnoghen to the Senate as recommended by the National Judicial Coun­cil (NJC).
Speaking with journalists in Abuja on behalf of the NASS Caucus, Senator John Enoh, declared that President Buha­ri’s compliance with their call will end the swirling specula­tions of vendetta against Justice Onnoghen and restore confi­dence in the judiciary.
Enoh said: “Exactly two months and 15 days, the Pres­idency has delayed and with­held to forward his name to the Senate for confirmation as the Chief Justice of Nigeria as re­quired by Section 231(1) of the 1999 Constitution (as amend­ed).
“Any action contrary to this will convey and validate grow­ing sentiments of vendetta. The President has foreclosed any in­sinuation as to incompetence or any disabling factor for him to be made Chief Justice of Ni­geria,” Enoh said.
According to the lawmak­ers, the continuous delay of President Buhari to forward the name of Justice Onnoghen to the Senate for confirmation without any lawful and consti­tutional cause has brought the issue of the independence of the Judiciary and security of tenure of judges to doubt and public discourse.
According to Enoh: “We are worried by this develop­ment for obvious reasons. As a hallowed institution, the judi­ciary is the bastion of our de­mocracy and should be insu­lated from undue influence, politics and manipulation of political predators.
“This development has opened the floodgate of politi­cal and social insinuations and entrenched the perception of ethno-regional prejudice and politicisation of the judiciary. This is most unfortunate,” he said.
Enoh stated that so far, there has been a growing sen­timent in certain quarters that Onnoghen’s earned elevation to the rank of Chief Justice of Ni­geria is held in abeyance, pre­cisely because he is either not from a particular ethnic origin preferred by powerful forces or his profound and radical ju­dicial pronouncement makes him too principled to occupy the office.
“The President’s inaction in this instance has acted as a cannon fodder for those al­luding to a vast conspiracy to deny Onnoghen his earned po­sition,” he said.
He therefore called on Bu­hari to act in a clear and deci­sive manner by transmitting without further delay, the name of Onnoghen to the Senate for confirmation.

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