A couple of days ago, we spoke about the disaster-in-waiting that President Buhari is currently toying with by not forwarding any names to the Senate for confirmation as regards the currently empty office of Chief Justice of Nigeria. The Acting Chief Justice’s term of three months as prescribed by law and no one in the Presidency seems to feel the urgency of this issue.
Just last month, we saw The Gambia suffer through an episode where there were no sitting Justices to determine a very important Constitutional question and that resulted in military intervention from other countries to fix a purely internal issue. This is just one example the problems that can present themselves without a complete Supreme Court.
In Nigeria for example, matters between the State and the Federal Government; the President and the National Assembly have to be determined the Supreme Court. Imagine if an issue came up along these lines while there’s no Chief Justice of Nigeria. That’ll be disastrous.
As it turns out, we aren’t the only ones concerned about this. The Pan-Yoruba sociopolitical group, Afenifere, on Tuesday, issued a nine-day ultimatum to President Muhammadu Buhari to forward the name of the acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, to the National Assembly for confirmation and approval of his appointment.
Afenifere said: “We see this as an assault on the constitution if the three months expire and he is not confirmed as CJN. It will be an assault on our constitution and an attempt to crudely end a career of a worthy Nigerian.
“Therefore, we call on President Muhammadu Buhari to, within the few days left to the expriration of the acting tenure of Justice Onnoghen, send his name to the Senate for confirmation as CJN, as he is the man in line because that is what the constitution says.”
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