Nigeria Senate confirms Onnoghen as Chief Justice

Nigeria Senate confirms Onnoghen as Chief Justice

The Nigeria Senate on Wednesday confirmed Justice Walter Onnoghen as
the Chief as Justice of the Federation.
During the screeninig The  Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen,
condemned disregard for court rulings, saying it is an act of impunity
that is threatening the independence of the judiciary.
Mr. Onnoghen made this point on Wednesday at the Senate during his
screening for confirmation as the substantive CJN, having been so
recommended by the National Judicial Council, NJC, and nominated for
the position by Acting President Yemi Osinbajo.
Fielding questions from the lawmakers, Mr. Onnoghen said the challenge
of disobedience to court orders “is for the legislature and the
executive to handle.”
He said the judiciary would welcome that day that court judgements
would be respected and carried out after exhaustion of the right of
appeal.
That will mean the independence of the judiciary, he added.
If rulings are not respected, the judge continued, they would just be
“mere piece of paper.”
“Anyway, disobedience of court order is an act of impunity,” he said.
‘But excuse me from further comments.”
Mr. Onnoghen said the judiciary had no problem with establishment of
special courts to try corruption cases.
‘If the government wants to establish courts, we won’t say no,” he said.
However, he stressed that effective criminal investigation involves
three parts: effective and thorough investigation; proper prosecution;
and the judge.
On corruption in the judiciary, he said, “the judiciary is part of the
society and we all know there’s corruption everywhere.”
Although he asked to be excused from commenting on the trials of
judges for corruption as doing so would be prejudicial, he reassured
that the bench can boast of “strong-willed, determined judicial
officers with unquestionable integrity who have put their best to
service.”
“I believe you don’t have to see a judge before you get justice.”
Mr. Onnoghen welcomed improved inter-governmental relationship but
warned it should not be at the expense of the integrity and
independence of the judiciary.
“Justice does not know anybody; that’s why that lady (effigy of
justice) is blindfolded.”
Mr. Onnoghen was later confirmed by the Senate as substantive Chief
Justice of Nigeria.

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