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Osinbajo Sends Onnoghen’s Name to Senate for Confirmation as CJN

With just two days left to the expiration of the tenure of the acting Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen, acting President Yemi Osinbajo tuesday transmitted his name to the Senate for confirmation as the substantive CJN.

Confirming this tuesday, a source close to the Office of the Senate President, said Senate President Bukola Saraki received the letter yesterday, requesting the upper chamber to screen and confirm Justice Onnoghen, a Cross River State indigene, as the substantive CJN.

Also, a ranking senator speaking on the condition of anonymity, said he was aware that the acting president had transmitted Justice Onnoghen’s name to the Senate for confirmation.However, he cautioned that just because the presidency had transmitted Justice Onnoghen’s name, it should not expect the Senate to rubber stamp his nomination without a thorough investigative and screening process.

He also pointed that the Senate was currently on recess, so it would be left to Saraki to decide whether to reconvene the Senate to kick-start the screening process before Justice Onnoghen’s tenure as acting CJN lapses on Friday.

“The Senate President is in receipt of the letter from the acting president, but it will be left to Senator Saraki to reconvene plenary to start the screening process.

“But even if he does so, the presidency should not expect us to rubber stamp Justice Onnoghen’s nomination, as we would have to carry out our own background checks, investigation and screening before deciding whether to confirm him or not,” the senator said.

Also, another presidency source informed THISDAY that given the lack of sufficient time to conclude Justice Onnoghen’s screening in two days before the expiration of his tenure as the acting CJN, Osinbajo, based on the recommendation of the National Judicial Council (NJC), could renew it as an interim measure while the Senate goes about the screening and confirmation exercise.

In this regard, the NJC, THISDAY learnt, will hold an emergency meeting today to recommend the renewal of Justice Onnoghen’s tenure as the acting CJN.

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