Former Military Governor of Kaduna state, Col. Abubakar Umar (rtd) has enjoined the Senate not to confirm any other nominee that may be forwarded by the Presidency as substantive Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN.
Justice Walter Onnoghen was appointed acting CJN in November 2016.
However, President Muhammadu Buhari, despite criticisms from prominent Nigerians has refused to send his name to the Senate for confirmation.
In a statement on Thursday, Col Umar said the delay by President Buhari in sending the name of Justice Onnoghen to Senate for confirmation is a deliberate ploy to deny a Southerner his rightful succession to the position of CJN based on seniority.
The former Governor also called on the National Judicial Council, NJC, not to forward any other name to the President.
The statement personally signed by Col Umar reads:
“In a few days, the tenure of Acting appointment of Justice Onnoghen will expire. Going by our extant Constitution, the Acting CJN will be disqualified from appointment as the substantive CJN unless the NJC resubmits his nomination to the President.
“Without providing any cogent and plausible or believable reason for its failure to forward the name of Justice Onnoghen to the Senate for confirmation, the Presidency leaves Nigerians guessing and speculating about the reasons.
“Already, many analysts view this action as a ploy to deny a Southerner his right to succession based on his seniority in keeping with the appointment protocol observed by the NJC in making the appointment.
“In the event of this occurrence, the NJC must not forward any other name nor should the Senate confirm any other nominee.
“This will serve to check the excesses of this administration and reinforce the unity of the nation which has already been pushed to the precipice by the recruitment and appointment policies of a government which tend to favour the north in violation of the Federal Character provision of the Constitution.”