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Walter Onnoghen Resigns Voluntarily As CJN, Submits Letter To President Buhari

Valentine Chinyem

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The suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen has resigned his position as the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) with immediate effect.

Onnoghen according to a senior lawyer in his legal team who preferred anonymity turned in his resignation letter to President Muhammadu Buhari late Thursday evening , a day after the National Judicial Council (NJC) recommended that he be compulsorily retired for misconduct.

According to the section 306 of the 1999 constitution, his resignation takes immediate effect. Section 306 says, 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.

The section continues , 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.

His resignation may have saved president Buhari from having issue to get two-thirds majority of the senate to confirm Onnoghen’s retirement as recommended by the National Judicial Council (NJC) and 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.” Buhari may not be able to muster the needed majority.