Onnoghen: what Federal Appointee said about CJN Confirmation that gets you thinking

L-R: Buhari, Onnoghen and Obono-Obla 
Efio-Ita Nyok|24 January 2017
Chief Okoi Ofem Obono-Obla has assured Cross Riverians and Nigerians alike that neither of religious, ethnic or sectional sentiments will influence the confirmation of Biase, Cross River-born Walter Onnoghen as substantive Chief Justice of Nigeria NegroidHaven has learnt.
It’s barely four hours Ikom, Cross River-born development economist, social entrepreneur, World Bank consultant and social commentator Princewill Odidi made the following social media thread about the current Chief Justice of Nigeria Walter Nkanu Onnoghen in acting capacity, ‘What would be your reaction if Cross River State born Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria Walter Samuel Nkanu Onnoghen highest ranking Justice of Supreme Court from Okurike town, Biase local government council is not appointed and Presentedt to Senate  as Chief Justice of Nigeria upon his 90 day acting capacity expiration coming soon? Would you say he is not qualified? His choice by judicial Council was faulty? His ethnicity and religion is not accepted or he is just not the favorite candidate to the ruling class?’, and Chief Okoi Ofem Obono-Obla made a response.
In his reaction Obono-Obla who incidentally is the Special Adviser to the President on Prosecution cautioned against religious, ethnic or sectional sentiments being incited in the confirmation of Onnoghen as Chief Justice of Nigeria.
According to him, the president will do the needful. The Human Rights Activist also added that President Muhammadu Buhari appointed Cross Riverians to top federal positions like Head of Service of the Federation, Chief of Naval Staff, and Auditor General of the Federation so why won’t he send in the name of Onnoghen to the Senate for confirmation? In his exact words, ‘Nobody should drag ethnicity, Sectionalism or religious dichotomy into the appointment of the Chief Justice of Nigeria. Appointments into positions of such eminence are not based on primordial sentiments or passion.
‘Is the Chief of Naval Staff not from Cross River? As the Chief of Naval Staff he is a member of both the National Defence and Security Councils, the highest policy and decision making organs in defence and security matters in the country. If a Cross Riverian can be appointed into such a position of strategic importance nobody should try to make insinuations about any conspiracy theory being woven around the position of the Chief Justice of Nigeria. Didn’t the same Federal Government recently appointed a Cross River as Auditor General of the Federation? Is the Head of Service not from Cross River? The Head of Service is the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation. She is the defacto Head of all the Federal Ministries, extra ministerial departments, statutory boards and Commissions put together. The Head of Service is also an ex officio member of the Executive Council of the Federation.’, he continued.
Odidi addressing the 8th Cross River State House of Assembly last year 
‘Please let us not  politicize the appointment of the CJN. Was the same person not appointed Acting CJN?  The current Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria is eminently qualify to be Chief Justice of Nigeria. President Muhammadu Buhari had said in a punlic fora sometimes ago that it is not about  where anybody comes from. He said he went to Supreme Court three times during his struggle to become President but all the fulani Judges there always decided against him. It was only Justice Onnoghen who bravely in 2007 have a dissenting judgment nullifying the election of late President Umaru Musa Yaradua in a legal challenge to his declaration as President instituted by the then General Buhari. So politicians should steer clear. Federal Government will do the proper or needful  thing but will not succumb to any blackmail!’, he concluded.

However, one Patrick U. Akongwale has countered Obono-Obla thus, ‘Chief Okoi Obono Obla: Sometimes it’s better you stay away from some conversations because your response on this issue is not true, but more of Politics. We respect you alot, don’t do this. We know the Politics at stake here and no one should bring having Chief-Of-Naval Staff or Head of service into this argument; this is about the head of an arm of government.
‘Don’t try to use our heads here, the head of service cannot be compared to having the head of an arm of government.  Enough with these propaganda you guys are creating. History would judge the likes of Okoi Obono-obla & Usani Usani if Onnoghen is not made CJN. We would take the betrayal to every corner of Cross River State. It’s obvious that Chief Okoi is already using the head of service as an excuse.’

It will be recalled that Onnoghen was appointed the Acting CJN on Wednesday, November 9, 2016 and sworn in by President Buhari on Thursday, November 10, 2016, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, as Ag. CJN, pending the forwarding of his name to the Senate for substantive confirmation. Onnoghen has spent over 70 days as Ag. CJN. Wither the certainty of the forwarding of his name by President Muhammadu Buhari?
Efio-Ita Nyok
Is a Blogger, the Editor & Publisher of NegroidHaven.org