By Teddy Nwanunobi
Abuja (Sundiata Post) — The Senate, at its Wednesday’s plenary, confirmed Justice Walter Samuel Nkanu Onnoghen as the new Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) without a single dissenting voice.
Senate’s confirmation of Onnoghen followed the consideration of the letter sent to the National Assembly by the Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo.
Osinbajo’s letter requested the confirmation of Onnoghen as the substantive Chief Justice of Nigeria.
After answering series of questions put before him by the senators, Onnoghen took a bow and left the red chamber.
The Senate President, Abubakar Bukola Saraki, thereafter, put the question for his approval before the Senate.
The Senate unanimously agreed to his confirmation.
Saraki directed that copies of the resolution be sent to the government, for immediate action.
It would be recalled that Onnoghen’s name was forwarded to the Senate on February 8 for confirmation as a substantive CJN by Osinbajo.
Onnoghen, who has been leading the country’s judiciary in acting capacity since November 10, was appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari, following the retirement of Mahmud Mohammed.
Born in Kruiku Town, Biase Local Government Area of Cross River State, the sixty-seven-year old Onnoghen bagged his Law degree from the University of Ghana, Legon, in 1977 before his BL certificate at the Nigerian Law School in 1978.
He started his career as a Pupil State Counsel in the Lagos State Ministry of Justice, in 1979, after which he ventured into private practice.
In 1989, he returned to public service as judge in the High Court of his native Cross River State.
He joined the federal judicial service in 1998 as Justice of the Court Appeal, a position he held until 2005 when he was elevated to the Supreme Court.
Meanwhile, the Senate is yet to make public its decision on the screening of Ibrahim Magu for confirmation as the substantive Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Magu’s earlier nomination was rejected last December by the Senate, which cited allegations integrity deficiency made by the State State Security (SSS).
But on January 24, more than a week before the nomination of Onnoghen, the Senate confirmed it had received a notice from the Presidency to the effect of Magu’s re-nomination.
Onnoghen would retire from service in 2021.