The acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen, has called on Nigerians to give President Muhammadu Buhari a free hand to perform his constitutional duties concerning the confirmation of his appointment.
There is widespread campaign in the country to press Mr Buhari to send Mr Onnonghen’s name to Senate for confirmation as nation’s chief judicial officer.
But the acting CJ said in a statement that it was wrong to give the president ultimatum on the issue, saying such action is tantamount to disrespecting the office.
“Honourable Justice Onnoghen believes the president does not need any threat or ultimatum to perform his constitutional duties and therefore dissociates himself from those individuals and groups making such demands on the president.
“However, the Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria and the Nigerian Judiciary sincerely appreciate the interest of Nigerians towards the appointment of a substantive Chief Justice of Nigeria to oversee the affairs of the Judiciary as the third arm of government, but believes that issuing an ultimatum to Mr. President appears to be going too far and smacks of disrespect for the exalted office of the president.
“The Acting Chief Justice therefore appeals for caution on the issue of the appointment of Chief Justice of Nigeria as Mr President goes about his constitutional duties, especially considering the fact that the given time for him to act as Chief Justice of Nigeria has not expired.
“In conclusion, the Acting Chief Justice wishes to thank all Nigerians for their support and continued prayers while calling on them to back the Federal Government in the fight to make the country a better place for all,” the statement added.