Onnoghen Did Not Resign As His Lawyer Speaks On What He Did

After several allegation by the FG against the suspended chief justice of Nigeria, the CJN, Walter Onnoghen with several appearance to the C...

After several allegation by the FG against the suspended chief justice of Nigeria, the CJN, Walter Onnoghen with several appearance to the CCT.

The Tribunal, upon his last visit to the CCT, he was asked to honourably resign to keep and maintain the dignity, honour and sacredness of the Judiciary, owing to the fact that the allegation laid against him impede not just on him as a person, but as upon the whole judiciary as a whole.

He reportedly turned in his resignation letter to President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday evening, 4 April 2019, after the National Judicial Council (NJC) recommended that he be compulsorily retired for misconduct.

By virtue of section 306 of the 1999 constitution, his resignation takes immediate effect. Section 306 says “(1) 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.

(2) 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 also saves Buhari from having to get two-thirds majority of the senate to confirm Onnoghen’s retirement 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.”

Meanwhile;

Adegboyega Awomolo, the lawyer to the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen, has revealed that Onnoghen didn’t resign but rather notified President Muhammadu Buhari of his retirement.

Awomolo who is the lead counsel to Mr Onnoghen in his false assets declaration trial, spoke in a telephone interview with PREMIUM TIMES late on Friday.

Mr Awomolo said Mr Onnoghen’s decision is a retirement and not a resignation from office. He said Mr Onnoghen sent his notice of retirement to President Muhammadu Buhari in line with constitutional provisions.

“What he has done is to send his notice of retirement to the President. And he has done so, in accordance with the provisions of the constitution.

“His position from day one has been that it is only the NJC that can discipline him. Now that the NJC has spoken, out of respect for the NJC and the office of the Chief Justice of Nigeria and Nigerian Judiciary, he sent his letter of retirement, not resignation. He never resigned.

“All he has done is to send a letter to the president, saying thank you. I have served this country for about 32 years. I want to retire. That’s all he has done,” Mr Awomolo said.

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