President Muhammadu Buhari has finally accepted the retirement letter of suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen.
The retirement letter was written two months ago after the former CJN was asked to do so by the National Judicial Council which probed a complaint that he abused his office by not properly declaring his assets.
Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the President announced the president’s decision in a statement:
‘‘President Buhari has accepted the voluntary retirement from service of Hon. Justice Walter Onnoghen as Chief Justice of Nigeria, effective from May 28, 2019. The President thanked Justice Onnoghen for his service to the Federal Republic of Nigeria and wished him the best of retirement life”, Mr. Shehu wrote.
Following his voluntary resignation and retirement, the former Chief Justice benefits in cash and kind will cost taxpayers about N2.5 billion.
As part of the package for retired chief justice, a house will be built for him in Abuja with a nine-digit sum for furnishing — in addition to a severance gratuity that is 300% of his annual basic salary of N3,363,972.50, as well as pension for life. He is also entitled to a number of domestic staff and sundry allowances for personal upkeep.
Onnoghen, 68, was due for retirement in 2020, but he turned in his resignation letter as the Chief Justice of Nigeria on April 4, 2019, to save himself from prosecution.
Meanwhile, Mr Garba Shehu also said President Buhari has written the Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, Tanko Muhammad, on the appointment of an additional five justices of the Supreme Court of Nigeria.