Some justices of the Supreme Court delivered Walter Onnoghen’s resignation letter to the Chief of Staff to the President, Malam Abba Kyari, on Thursday, latest information on the matter have revealed.
Onnoghen’s resignation as Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) became public on Friday, a day after the National Judicial Council (NJC) recommended his compulsory retirement for misconduct. With Buhari expected to take a decision on the recommendation, which could include having to forfeit his retirement benefits, Onnoghen decided that resigning was the “best possible option” for under the current circumstance.
The letter, according to NAN, was submitted at the presidential villa a few minutes after President Muhammadu Buhari left Abuja for Jordan to participate in the World Economic Forum on Thursday.
Although the presidency has yet to confirm the receipt of the letter, NAN quoted a presidency source as confirming that Buhari indeed received the NJC’s recommendations on the petition written against Onnoghen and the acting CJN, Justice Tanko Muhammad, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
NJC’s report was submitted to the President by his Kyari, who was accompanied by the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, at about 2:20pm.
On Wednesday, Soji Oye, NJC’s Director of Information, had confirmed that the body had taken a decision on the allegations of misconduct brought against Onnoghen and Muhammad.
“The National Judicial Council reconvened today in an Emergency Meeting to consider the Report of the Five-Man Committee constituted to investigate the allegations of misconduct made against Hon. Mr. Justice W. S. N. Onnoghen, GCON and Hon. Mr. Justice I. T. Muhammad CFR,” he said.
“Council decided that the allegations relating to assets declaration that were levelled against Hon. Mr. Justice W. S. N. Onnoghen, GCON were subjudice and therefore abstained from considering them.
“Council reached a decision on the petitions written by Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and others and conveyed its decision to President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR. Council also resolved that, by the nature of the decision reached, it would be inappropriate to publicise it before conveying it to Mr. President.”