Confirm Onnoghen as substantive CJN now, HURIWA tells Buhari

Justice Walter Onnoghen

Justice Walter Onnoghen

A civil rights group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately send the name of Justice Walter Onoghen to the Senate for confirmation as substantive Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN).

HURIWA yesterday warned that the illegal substitution of Onoghen to achieve political agenda by the political powers will further polarize the country along ethno-religious fault lines and this sinister project will in a very serious way injure the integrity and constitutional standing of the Judiciary.

A statement by the National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media Affairs Director, Miss Zainab Yusuf, said the delay of Justice Walter Onoghen’s confirmation occasioned by taciturn action of President Buhari was weakening the integrity of the court system.

“As it is now, the failure of President Buhari to respect the recommendation of Justice Onoghen as CJN in a substantive way as made by the National Judicial Council (NJC) since two months ago shows a clear Northern regional agenda to circumvent the long existing hierarchical mapping of the judiciary in Nigeria.”

It said, section 6 of the Constitution is specific on the role of the court system in the smooth running of constitutional democracy and if by political design the hierarchy of the court system is unduly politicized then the public standing of the judiciary is put on the spots.

The deliberate delay in submitting the name of the next in line in the succession plan of the NJC, according to HURIWA, has given rise to wild speculations that just like how President Buhari single handedly gave all the top defence positions to Hausa/Fulani northern Muslims, that there is a sinister plot to bypass Justice Onoghen for a northerner from Bauchi State.

HURIWA therefore called on the president to immediately send the name of Justice Onoghen for confirmation.

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