Nigeria’s Acting President, Yemi Osibanjo has today sworn in Justice Walter Onnoghen as the 17th Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN)
The swearing-in ceremony which took place at the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa, Abuja at 9.00am has brought to rest the controversy that trailed the ascendancy of the new CJN whose confirmation was done by the Senate last week Wednesday.
It will be recalled that the new CJN was first appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari as acting CJN on November 10, 2016 after the retirement of former CJN, Mahmoud Mohammed.
His name was to be forwarded to the Nigerian Senate for confirmation as substantive CJN on February 8.
At the ceremony, Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo said President Muhammadu Buhari had asked him to let the new CJN know that he was assuming office at a time “when all arms of government suffers from loss of confidence from the people”.
“Yesterday I had a discussion with President Buhari, not only did he extend his personal warm wishes and congratulations, he asked that I personally convey that to you, and I do so now,” Osinbajo said.
“I congratulate you on behalf of Mr. President, all members of your family and the entire judiciary. I believe that the choice that the people of this nation have made is a right choice indeed and I pray that you will leave up to all of the expectations indeed. I pray that the almighty God will guide and direct you as you deliver on all of the promises and expectations of the people of this nation.
Speaking earlier, the new CJN said his complete loyalty was with the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
He pledged to continue to keep to his oath of office and solicited the cooperation of all Nigerians.
Mr. Onnoghen said the key to achieving good governance in Nigeria lies in respecting the rule of law.
“To Nigerians who had kept the faith, some have even fasted, I say a big thank you,” he said.
Part of the swearing-in ceremony was the investiture of the Grand Commander of the Niger, GCON, on the new CJN.
The award, Nigeria’s second highest national honour, was given by Mr. Osinbajo.
The event was witnessed by Mr. Onnoghen’s family, Senate President Bukola Saraki, former CJN Mohammed Mahmud, Justices of the Supreme Court and other divisions, as well as Ministers.