– Acting CJN Justice Mohammed Tanko has declared that Justice Walter Onnoghen remains the CJN of the country pending the outcome of the CCT
– Justice Mohammed Tanko disclosed that FG doesn’t need the permission of the NJC to appoint an acting CJN
The Acting Chief Judge of Nigeria CJN, Justice Mohammad Tanko in a recent statement has affirmed that the suspended Justice Walter Onnoghen still remain the CJN of the country.
Justice Mohammad Tanko in his statement made it known that he would step aside once the ruling of the Code of Conduct Tribunal CCT is favourable to Justice Walter Onnoghen.
This recent statement from Mohammad Tanko comes as a response to the query given to him by the Nigerian Judicial Commission NJC.
The acting CJN, Mohammad Tanko made it known that the Pres. Muhammdu Buhari led Federal Government doesn’t need the permission of the NJC to appoint an acting CJN.
He added that the NJC is supposed to be a consultative body only when a substantive CJN is to be appointed or reappointed.
Below is an extract from the statement released by Justice Mohammed Tanko, he said,
“In my respectful view, the National Judicial Council has no role to play in the appointment of an acting Chief Justice of Nigeria in the first instance, that is to say on the first appointment.
“The council comes in where the appointment as the acting CJN is to be renewed or extended. I humbly refer to Section 231(4) of the 1999 Constitution.
“It was for the larger interest of the judiciary and the constitutionality that I accepted to be sworn in as acting CJN with the conviction that if the order of January 23, 2019, is eventually set aside, the status quo would be restored.
“But before it is set aside, there should be no vacuum in the office of the CJN and the chairman of the NJC.
“On January 25, 2019, I was summoned to the Aso Villa at the instance of the President. Prior to the summons, I was not aware of the fact that the Code of Conduct Tribunal made an order on January 23, 2019.
“Furthermore, beyond what I read in the newspapers and watched on the television just like any other Nigerian, I was not privileged to see any of the processes filed by the parties before the tribunal. Hence, I could not really appreciate the merit or demerit of divergent positions.
“On the 25th day of January, the President swore me in as the acting CJN and not as the substantive CJN. Justice Walter Onnoghen remains the CJN until he is removed from office in accordance with the provision of the constitution. He is only suspended.”
In another report the suspended CJN, Walter Onnoghen appeared before the Code of Conduct Tribunal Today having missed the last trial over health-related issues.