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Emerging report has revealed that the acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Walter Onnoghen, may be eased out of the system by February 10, 2017, as President Muhammadu Buhari, has finalized plans to appoint a northerner as the substantive CJN, Post-Nigeria gathered.


The report indicates that the National Judicial Commission, NJC, may have to send the name of Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad, to the president for approval as the next CJN.

Muhammad is the next in line to Onnoghen in the hierarchy of Supreme Court justices
Onnoghen, who was appointed as acting CJN on January 10, 2017 has until February 10, 2017 to remain in office, and by law, his tenure is not renewable, if he is not confirmed by the Senate.

The President, who is on vacation, is due to resume on Monday, February 6, and it is still uncertain if he will forward Onnoghen’s name to the Senate for screening, or subsequent confirmation as substantive CJN.

If he fails to do this, Justice Muhammad may be on his way to becoming the new CJN.



Born December 31, 1953 at Doguwa Giade, Giade LGA of Bauchi State, he attended Government Secondary School, Azare in 1973, and proceeded to the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria for his Bachelor of Law degree (1980).

He later got his LL.M (1984) and Ph.D in Law (1998) from the same University.

Justice Muhammad was appointed a Justice of the Supreme Court, JSC, in 2006 and sworn in on January 7, 2007.

Meanwhile, the current acting CJN, Onnoghen has called for calm, asking Nigerians to allow the President perform his constitutional duties concerning the appointment of a substantive Chief Justice of Nigeria.

Onnoghen, however, speaking through his Special Assistant on Media, Awassam Bassey, said he believed the president did not need any threat or ultimatum to perform his constitutional duties.

He, however, appreciated the interest of Nigerians towards the appointment of a substantive Chief Justice of Nigeria to oversee the affairs of the Judiciary as the third arm of government, “but believes that issuing an ultimatum to Mr. President appears to be going too far and smacks of disrespect for the exalted office of the president.”

According to him: “The Acting Chief Justice, therefore, appeals for caution on the issue of the appointment of Chief Justice of Nigeria as Mr. President goes about his constitutional duties, especially considering the fact that the given time for him to act as Chief Justice of Nigeria has not expired.’’

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