President Muhammadu Buhari has bowed to pressure and directed the acting president, Yemi Osinbajo, to forward the name of Walter Onnoghen as the substantive Chief Justice of Nigeria.
Mr Buhari’s decision came four months after Mr Onnoghen was first recommended to the president as the next chief justice, following the retirement of Justice Mahmud Mohammed.
Although speculations at the weekend were rife that the president had succumbed to pressure, Mr Buhari finally announced his decision on Wednesday morning on Twitter
“Hon. Justice W.S. Onnoghen’s name has been sent to the Senate for confirmation as the next CJN,” he tweeted with a link to Mr. Onnoghen’s biography on the Supreme Court website.
The president’s reluctance, which was seen by many as ethnic bias, would have caused a constitutional crisis had the February 10 deadline lapsed.
The incoming chief justice, who hails from Cross River State, would be the first chief justice from the South in 30 years.