By CrossRiverWatch Admin
The Federal Judicial Service Commission (FJSC) has nominated Cross River Born Justice Walter Onnoghen and two others as Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) designate despite initial calls for the nominees to be called straight from the bar.
The nomination means the FJSC has maintained the succession by seniority tradition set for the CJN position who heads Nigeria’s apex court, the Supreme Court of Justice with the trio forwarded to the National Judicial Council (NJC) which will then forward two names to the President.
Justice Walter Samuel Nkwanu Onnoghen who hails from Biase local government area of southern Cross River State is the next in line in terms of seniority as he is the oldest after the sitting CJN, Justice Mohammed Mahmoud who will attain the mandatory retirement age of 70 by November 10, 2016.
Currently 66 years of age, if the appointing authority (President Muhammadu Buhari) accepts his nomination, Justice Walter will retire on December 20, 2020 when he will be 70 years old.
Also nominated is Justice Tanko Mohammed who is next as a standby-nominee and another senior judge to maintain the old standing tradition so in the case that the presidency rejects the CJN-designate, the standby-nominee is appointed, a situation which has never happened at the federal level before but has occurred in several states.
As earlier reported by CrossRiverWatch, Justice Onnoghen if appointed, will be the first southern CJN in almost 30 years after Justice Ayo Gabriel Irikefe retired in 1987 with 7 northern CJNs coming in between then and now.
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