Buhari, PDP clash over CJN Onnoghen’s confirmation

Justice Walter Onnoghen

Justice Walter Onnoghen

It Is Not Too Late, He Has 90 Days, Says Presidency

Piqued by the delays in nominating Justice Walter Samuel Onnoghen to the Senate for confirmation, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), said it has reviewed “the dirty politics surrounding the appointment of a substantive Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), particularly at the Presidency.”

Consequently the party declared that President Muhammadu Buhari’s failure to submit the Onnoghen’s name to the Senate for confirmation was “shockingly embarrassing.”

The party called on the National Judicial Council (NJC) to reject the option of recommending another person and insist on Onnoghen as its only
choice, to frustrate what it called the President’s attempt at reserving the position for only a person from the northern part of the country.

However, the Presidency has denied insinuations that the President does not want to forward the name of the Acting CJN to the Senate for confirmation, saying that the law stipulates 90 days.

The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, disclosed that Justice Onnoghen could serve as Chief Justice of Nigeria in acting capacity for three months, stressing that the acting CJN “has not even served one” out of the three months stipulated by the Constitution.

Similarly, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, yesterday, said President Buhari still has a three-month window within which to decide on the matter.

“We don’t think that there is a live issue for reporting, given that the President has a three-month statutory window within which to decide the matter. By our count, that three-month period has not lapsed.”

President Buhari on November 10, 2016 inaugurated 66-year-old Justice Onnoghen as the Acting CJN in compliance with Sections 230(4) and ‎231(1) of the 1999 Constitution at a brief ceremony in the Villa.

However, as 2016 drew to an end and Justice Onnoghen’s name was not forwarded to the National Assembly for confirmation, speculations became rife that the delay was indicative of the presidency’s disinclination towards his appointment as substantive CJN, more so when his acting status ends in February 2017.

Officials in the judiciary say it is unprecedented to have a CJN in acting capacity for three months.

Also, in a telephone interview with The Guardian in Abuja, the spokesman to the national caretaker committee of the PDP, Prince Dayo Adeyeye, said the party was still very surprised that the President has refused to send Onnoghen’s name to the Senate for confirmation as the substantive CJN.

PDP said: “We in the PDP are bewildered by the action of the President. It is unprecedented since the beginning of Nigeria and even this democracy, for
the President not to go by the recommendation of the NJC.

“Normally, in the Supreme Court now, there is a tradition that has been well established which is the fact that it is the most senior justice that is appointed as CJN whenever there is a vacancy in the position of that office of the CJN.”

“The president,” PDP said further, “by his actions, his pronouncements and everything he has done since he assumed office has demonstrated that
he is not a president for all. Buhari is a president for a section of the country,who is extremely parochial, nepotistic, very tribalistic and does not hide it; and he doesn’t care about it.”

PDP noted that “the man (Onnoghen) will only serve for a few years and leave his position.” PDP noted that the last seven justices of the
Supreme Court have come from the North and this should be the first time Nigeria would produce CJN from the South.

There are allegations that President Buhari has no confidence in Justice Onnoghen doing his bidding to allegedly pervert justice, hence he appointed him in acting capacity contrary to practice and convention in the Judiciary.

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  • Ken

    It is unfortunate that the so called activists are no where here. Nigeria is a case that has gone nuts. It is a shame. I give kudos to Professor Oyebode who has voiced out. Buhari is a chronic bigot. Onnoghren must be confirmed as CJN else, the NASS is doomed.

  • tuby NY

    NONSENSE talk by a NONSENSE and a dying political party!! Why this political-motivated talk just for any publicity tho? Since PMB has 2months left to do this, why NOT wait till then before coming out NOW to start making noise/whining and trying to create unnecessary tension/alarm against the president; LIKE THEY (PDP, the elites n their likes even in APC too) THROUGHLY cared about the country and the masses ANYWAY!

    • Magnus0071mg

      Which party is dying Why are you guys so scared Even the appeal court has gone to bed to delay judgement Something is fishy here and in this country We are wilfully buying decadence and dancing stupid

  • Gbengs

    Why crying to the river when the river is breaming with excess water. These guys never seizes to amaze me, a question for the stupid minds in the mould of pdpigs, has the presidency run foul of the constitution? Let him run foul of the constitution and see the resolve of healthy minds in Nigeria , not charlatans that cry for being bereaved for almost 2yrs. Surely, they will cry till eternity!

    Onnonoghen is the acting cjn, and will be the substantive cjn before 3months.

    Magu wasn’t confirm by the Senate for months, there wasn’t crocodile cries from pdpigs, oh, perhaps he was running after them, now this, the wailing is atop.

    • ewucanbeer

      The Chief Justice is constitutional, The Chairman of EFCC (Magu) is a political appointment.
      You sir are an imbecile and are comparing apples and oranges.
      Idiocy has no limit!

  • Tunde

    Typical PDP nitwits! Trying to whip up tribal sentiments; what you used for 16years to hold Nigerians back from voting PMB to office! Maybe you haven’t noticed it didn’t work in 2015 and it will not work now! You are a dying breed! Thank God!

    • ewucanbeer

      You did not answer to their accusations. Stop the tribalistic hatred,
      1. Igbos are not leaving Lagos for you!
      2. Jonathan is NOT Igbo
      3. Boohari is a failure
      4. You goofed by voting for him.

    • Magnus0071mg

      I am a nitwit as well but certainly not stupid and foolish not to know I am being raped

  • ♚Joe-Ifiok♚

    Well, PDP will still retain the status of the proverbial empty vessel, even if and when they are right in their banter. PMB in a series of ways has exhibited signs and traits of disobeying constitutional provisions, either by delays or going anti-clockwise. Whatever the case, the political scenario in Nigeria has taken a status of do-me-i-do-you, where opportunists in power carry a pay back mentality, not minding what and how that gets to the populace. Whether or not PMB confirms the Ag.CJ, it won’t be a surprise to me. I’ve learnt to take things how I see them today in this country. How are we even sure that PDP’s clamour is not geared at giving the CJ a bad image to PMB so as to stall his confirmation? Just saying…

    • Magnus0071mg

      Cure yourself of hate and see issues for what they are
      Your empty vessel twist is irrelevant here and it’s bad politics

  • Well it will be the height of deceit if the
    allegations flying around on this issue turn out to be true. I don’t believe that Buhari is a nepotist, although the facts point in that direction. After this case we will know.

    • Magnus0071mg

      This case will be just one of the many nepotism Buhari will exhibit His life is replete with it
      Or are you waiting he does so to you personally

  • Osaji Innocent

    PDP will never stop. It amazes me the kind of mind set we Nigerians have developed. How can we still be listening to a group of mindless individuals that plunged the heart & soul of the country for 16 years into untold hardship. The commonwealth they siphoned still being uncovered daily by this same lot, yet they rush to criticize & turn tribalism, any trivial issues. Why have we not heard any PDP stalwarts’ honest comments on their past mistakes?

    • Magnus0071mg

      My friend as read through your comment I thought you were referring to you and your fickle mind
      You’ve lost it

  • Ambrose Ukwuegbu

    Folks watch this drama till the end. Justice Walter Samuel Onnoghen will be “forced to resign” his Acting CJN appointment in the manner Audu Ogbe “resigned” as PDP Chair under OBJ.
    It appears the CJN portfolio is monolithic North, or nobody else. Read the handwriting on the wall. Remember that “Onnoghen” does not sound “arabic”, and that is the main “problem”.
    I advice Justice Onnoghen to get his “hand-over note” ready before 31January, 2017. We are in an Arab country.