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Onnoghen: Saving a judiciary on the cliff

The dust raised by the President’s delay in submitting Walter Onnoghen’s name to the Senate for screening was finally settled last Tuesday, when he was confirmed as the substantive Chief Justice of Nigeria. He has been functioning in an acting capacity since November last year. For four years, he will be in the saddle, a period long enough for him to radically overhaul the judiciary.

With its loss of respect and public confidence, the judiciary is facing a most torrid time. It is a self-inflicted wound – no thanks to corruption that has seized its soul. Perhaps, it was for this reason that Onnoghen gave this guarantee: “The judiciary on my watch will be of unquestionable integrity. I believe that the judiciary will come out of the present situation stronger.”  We have heard this before. Action, not rhetoric, is what Nigerians are waiting for.

Under the leadership of his immediate past predecessors, the judiciary reached a new low. This is why the new CJN has his job well cut out.  Two of his colleagues – Sylvester Ngwuta and Inyang Okoro – justices of the Supreme Court, were forced to step aside over alleged corruption.

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