Those pushing for Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) Walter Onnoghen’s confirmation are likely to carry the day. He has been cleared of all allegations impeding his appointment as the head of the nation’s Judiciary.
The Presidency may send his name to the Senate for confirmation “any moment from now”, The Nation learnt yesterday.
The nomination may either be sent by President Muhammadu Buhari or Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, depending on when the President’s vacation ends. He has asked for an extension.
A security report on Justice Onnoghen is said to have been centred on “the fact that he is reform-minded and suitable for the anti-corruption agenda of the Buhari administration”.
The Presidency is believed to have received the report. A government source said: “All hurdles against the nomination of Justice Walter Onnoghen as CJN have been resolved. He has been absolved of all allegations against him.
“As a matter of fact, the nomination was delayed as a result of the need to address these allegations. Now, Justice Onnoghen has been given a clean bill of health. “Every allegation was investigated and proofs indicated that Onnoghen has no case to answer.
The government went to this extent to ensure that the holder of the office of CJN is above board.”
The source dismissed the insinuations that the delay in nominating Justice Onnoghen had to do with his being a Southerner.
“There were issues against him and it became imperative to get to the roots of these allegations,” he said, adding: “More importantly, the outcome of the security checks rated Onnoghen as ‘reform-minded and suitable for anti-corruption agenda of Buhari administration’.