By Levinus Nwabughiogu
Justice Walter Onnoghen of the Supreme Court on Tuesday took his oath of office and allegiance before Acting President Yemi Osinbajo to become the substantive Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN.
Onnoghen was appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari on November 10, 2016 as the Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria.
Following the constitutional provisions, Onnoghen’s name was sent to the Senate on February 7, 2017 by Acting President Osinbajo for confirmation
The senate on Wednesday last week screened and confirmed his nomination.
By his confirmation, Onnoghen who hails from Cross River State has become the 17th Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN.
Speaking at the brief swearing-in ceremony which took place at the Council Chamber of the Presidential Villa, Abuja, Osinbajo reminded the new CJN of the enormous task ahead of him, saying the fate of millions of Nigerians were now placed in his hands for justice.
Similarly, the new CJN pledged to uphold the rule of law and ensure the independence of the judiciary.
Onnoghen will be the 20th person to occupy the position since 1914, according to judiciary records.
Sixty-six year-old Walter Samuel Onnoghen has been a Justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria since 2005.
He was appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari to succeed, in acting capacity, Justice Mahmood Muhammed in November last year.
He graduated from the University of Ghana at Legon, Ghana in 1977 and from the Nigerian Law School in Lagos in 1978.
Before joining the Supreme Court, he was a judge in Cross River State and a justice of the Court of Appeal.
Onnoghen was born on the 22 December 1950 at Okurike Town, Biase local government area of Cross Rivers State.
List of Nigerian Chief Justices since 1914:
1. Sir Edwin Speed, 1914-1918
2. Sir Ralph Combe, 1918-1929
3. Donald kingdon, 1929-1946
4. Sir John Verity, 1946-1954
5. Sir Stafford Sutton, 1955-1958
6. Adetokunbo Ademola, 1958-1972
7. Taslim Olawale Elias, 1972-1975
8. Darnley Arthur Alexander, 1975-1979
9. Atanda Fatai Williams, 1979-1983
10. George Shodeinde Sowewimo, 1983-1985
11. Ayo Gabriel Irikefe, 1985-1987
12. Mohammed Bello, 1987-1995
13. Muhammad Lawal Uwais, 1995-2006
14. Salihu Moddibo Alfa Belgore, 2006-2007
15. Idris Legbo Kutigi, 2007-2009
16. Aloysius Iyorgyer Katsina-Alu, 2009-2011
17. Dahiru Musdapher, 2011-2012
18. Aloma Mariam Mukhtar, 2012-2014
19. Mahmoud Mohammed, 2014-2016
20. Walter Samuel Nkanu Onnoghen, November 2016 till date.