The Senate on Wednesday confirmed Justice Walter Onnoghen as substantive Chief Justice of Nigeria.

The confirmation came after the Senate screened him for nearly 1 hour 15 minutes.

During the screening process, Federal Lawmakers questioned Justice Onnoghen on issues of the independence of the judiciary, judicial reforms, corruption in the Judiciary, as well as disobedience of court orders.

The new CJN maintained that the independence of the judiciary would continue under his watch.

He, however warned that Nigeria would be in serious trouble, the moment the judiciary is politicised.

Justice Onnoghen had been in acting capacity since November 10, 2016 when President Muhammadu Buhari okayed him for the position, following the retirement of Mahmud Mohammed.

Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, had sent his name to the Senate for confirmation as Chief Justice Of Nigeria on February 8, just two days before the expiration of his three –month acting tenure.

Also, the National Judicial Council (NJC), had extended Mr Onnoghen’s tenure by another three months on the grounds that it may have been impossible for the Senate, which was on recess at the time, to reconvene and screen Onnoghen before the expiration date of his tenure.

The initial delay by President Buhari to send his name to the Senate, had been trailed by criticism and condemnation, with some alleging ethnic bias as the reason for the President’s “seeming reluctance”.

The nomination, was however contained in the Presidency’s twitter handle

saying: “Hon. Justice W.S. Onnoghen’s name has been sent to the Senate for confirmation as the next CJN.”

Onnoghen has been a Justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria since 2005.

His confirmation on Wednesday, makes him the first CJN from the southern part  of the country in about 30 years.

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