The voluntary decision to retire from office by the suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen, has finally been accepted by President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday, June 9th 2019.
On January 25 2019, the President suspended Justice Onnoghen over an alleged case of “financial impropriety, infidelity to the constitution and other economic and financial crimes related laws”. To avoid facing severe persecution, Onnoghen 68, who ideally is due for retirement in 2020 was mandated by the National Judicial Council to resign from office. He forwarded his resignation letter on Thursday, April 4th 2019, but it was rejected by President Buhari. However, President Buhari through a statement released on Sunday by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, revealed an acceptance of the ‘voluntary retirement’ of Onnoghen, with words of appreciation for his service to the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The statement read: “President Muhammadu Buhari has accepted the voluntary retirement from service of Hon. Justice Walter Onnoghen as Chief Justice of Nigeria, effective from May 28, 2019". The President thanked Justice Onnoghen for his service to the Federal Republic of Nigeria and wished him the best of retirement life.
According to Sahara reporters, Onnoghen’s cash retirement benefit is N2.5 billion. Also part of the retirement package is that a house will be built for the Chief Justice in Abuja with a nine-digit sum for furnishing. He will also be given sundry allowances for personal upkeep.
Another statement released by the President on Sunday through Garba Shehu was concerning the appointment of additional five Justices for the Supreme Court of Nigeria. It was addressed to the acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, Hon. Justice Tanko Muhammad.
The statement read: ‘‘Pursuant to the provisions of Section 230(2) A&B of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), I am pleased to request that you initiate in earnest the process of appointing additional five Justices of the Supreme Court of Nigeria to make the full complement of 21 Justices as provided by the aforementioned provisions of the Constitution.This is in line with the Government’s Agenda of repositioning the Judiciary in general and Supreme Court in particular for greater efficiency, with a view to reducing the backlog of appeals pending at the Supreme Court.
‘‘Please accept, your Lordship, the assurances of my highest regards.’’
News Source- Sahara Reporters
Folio.ng All Rights Reserved.