Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen, has begged Nigerians not to issue threat or ultimatum to President Muhammadu Buhari into appointing him as the substantive Chief Justice of the country.
Justice Onnoghen in a statement issued his media aide, Awassam Bassey on Thursday urged ‘Nigerians to allow Mr. President, Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, a free hand to perform his constitutional duties concerning the appointment of a substantive Chief Justice of Nigeria’.
The statement reads further:
“Honourable Justice Onnoghen believes the president does not need any threat or ultimatum to perform his constitutional duties and therefore dissociates himself from those individuals and groups making such demands on the president,”
“However, the Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria and the Nigerian Judiciary sincerely appreciate 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.
“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.
“In conclusion, the Acting Chief Justice wishes to thank all Nigerians for their support and continued prayers while calling on them to back the Federal Government in the fight to make the country a better place for all.”
The National Judicial Council had earlier recommended Mr. Onnoghen to President Buhari to be the substantive chief justice of Nigeria.
Mr. Onnoghen’s role as Acting Chief Justice will lapse on February 10.