The embattled CJN tendered his resignation letter to President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday evening, April 4. A senior lawyer in suspended CJN’s defence team in his trial at the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) also confirmed to The Nation that Onnoghen put in a resignation letter on Thursday, which he sent to the office of President Muhammadu Buhari.
By virtue of section 306 of the 1999 constitution, Onnoghen’s resignation takes immediate effect. “(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.”
According to section 292 (1) of the 1999 constitution, President Muhammadu Buhari needs to get a two-thirds majority of the Senate to retire Onnoghen before the latter’s age of retirement.
Legit.ng previously reported that the National Judicial Commission (NJC) recommended the retirement of the suspended chief justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen, to President Muhammadu Buhari.
The commission after a deliberation on Wednesday, April 3, unanimously reached an agreement that Onnoghen be retired over petitions filed against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Members of the NJC led by an interim leadership under Umaru Abdullahi, a former president of the Court of Appeal, agreed that the suspended CJN had lost the morality of authority to continue as Nigerian chief justice with the litany of allegations bordering on misconduct.
The commission in its recommendation also noted that Tanko Muhammad did not commit any offence by making himself available to be sworn in as acting CJN without the recommendation of the NJC.
Although the recommendations by the commission had already been passed to President Buhari for approval, the president would still be needing the approval of the Nigerian Senate to effect the compulsory retirement of the already suspended CJN – a decision which would require two-thirds of majority of the upper legislative chamber.