President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday swore in Walter Samuel Onnoghen as the Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN).
At the occasion in the Council Chamber of the State House, the President sought the judiciary’s cooperation in the fight against corruption and insecurity. Besides, it should join the efforts to boost the economy.
“Trying time in the sense of the three identifiable problems this country is facing . Physical security, the problem of economy and corruption.
“In this room contains the constitutional bodies that are responsible for bringing Nigeria back into line in terms of security and managing it efficiently while making sure that the economy is resuscitated and that security of doing business at all stages in the country is free and fair,” he added.
He said that he was honored to say goodbye to the immediate past CJN, Mahmud Muhammed, who just retired from office.
Congratulating him for the time spent in the position, the President wished him best of luck in his retired life.
Justice Onnoghen was sworn in based on Section 230 subsection (iv) and Section 231 subsection (I) of the 1999 Constitution.
As the most senior justice of the Supreme Court, he took over from the immediate past CJN.
His appointment is due for confirmation by the Senate.
Justice Onnoghen thanked God for making it possible for him to be sworn in as the Acting CJN.
He pledged to support the government’s corruption fight in the judiciary, adding:
“In this state of our development and with your programme in tow, I assure you of the full cooperation of the third arm of government in the continuation of the war against corruption and misconduct in the judiciary.
“I intend to carry on where my predecessors stopped, modify certain areas but with the general ultimate goal of having a better judiciary befitting the nation Nigeria.
“Thank you for the confidence reposed in me and, by the grace of God, we shall succeed.”
Speaking with State House correspondents at the end of the ceremony, the immediate past Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Mahmud Mohammed, said that there was need for all Nigerians to help fish out corrupt elements within the society, including the judiciary
He said: “We agree, corruption is everywhere, but you see we are all Nigerians but in the judiciary, it is there we need the assistance of all Nigerians to help fish out those corrupt elements within us so that we could fight with vigour to deliver a clean judiciary for the nation to fight against corruption and to assist in revamping the economy for the interest of this nation in order to secure economy all over because the judiciary has a big role to play in every aspect of our lives.”
In a congratulatory message signed by his media aide Christian Ita, Governor Ayade said: “Your appointment as the Chief Justice of the Nigeria is a clear testimony to your integrity, morality, industry, passion and commitment to the values and noble ideals for which our people are known for.
“On behalf of the government and good people of Cross River State, I wish to congratulate you most profoundly on your well-deserved elevation. For us, this is a charge on you to do more and give more of your honest and selfless service to humanity and society as a whole. We are indeed proud of you.”
He thanked President Buhari for his special consideration of Cross River sons and daughters in several of his top appointments.
“For us, this appointment is one of several you have given to our sons and daughters in recent times. It is an indication of how much you love us a state and as a people.”