Walter Onnoghen resigns as chief justice of Nigeria

The suspended chief justice of Nigeria (CJN) Walter Onnoghen has resigned with immediate effect.

Onnoghen had reportedly sent his resignation letter to President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday, barely 24 hours after the National Judicial Council concluded investigating him for various allegations of misconduct.

By virtue of section 306 of the 1999 constitution says “(1) Save as otherwise provided in this section, any person who is appointed, elected or otherwise selected to any office established by this Constitution may resign from that office by writing under his hand addressed to the authority or person by whom he was appointed, elected or selected. (2) The resignation of any person from any office established by this Constitution shall take effect when the writing signifying the resignation is received by the authority or person to whom it is addressed or by any person authorised by that authority or person to receive it.”

Onnoghen resignaton will also save Buhari from having to get two-thirds majority of the senate to confirm Onnoghen’s retirement as stipulated in Section 292 (1) of the 1999 constitution which says a “judicial officer shall not be removed from his office or appointment before his age of retirement except in the following circumstances – (a) in the case of – (i) Chief Justice of Nigeria… by the President acting on an address supported by two-thirds majority of the Senate.”

The legal body, in a statement that was signed by its Director of Information, Mr. Soji Oye, said it convened an emergency meeting to consider the report of the five-man committee it constituted to investigate allegations of misconduct that were levelled against Justice Onnoghen and the Acting CJN, Justice Tanko Muhammad.

The National Judicial Council, NJC, on Wednesday, said it has forwarded the outcome of its investigation into corruption allegations against the suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Justice Walter Onnoghen, to President Muhammadu Buhari, for action.

However, the NJC, said it decided to refrain from considering the allegation that Justice Onnoghen failed to declare his assets, saying it would amount to subjudice since the matter is in court.

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