Why Buhari must endorse Onnoghen as substantive CJN now—Prof Oyebode

  • Wants him to sack Magu, says he’s not irreplaceable

International Law and Jurisprudence scholar, Prof Akin Oyebode on Monday advised President Muhammadu Buhari to send without any further delay the name of the acting Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen to the senate for confirmation just as he counselled him to sack the acting Chairman of EFCC, Ibrahim Magu to restore Nigerians’ confidence in his fight against corruption.

Oyebode who asked President Buhari to take his advice seriously said Magu is not irreplaceable while he would have no reason not to appoint Justice Onnoghen as substantive CJN because the jurist is qualified to hold the position and has been recommended to him by the relevant authorities.

On Magu, Oyebode called on President Muhammadu Buhari to look for an alternative credible candidate to replace the acting chairman of EFCC, Ibrahim Magu to restore Nigerians’ confidence on his fight against corruption.

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Professor Oyebode who made the call while speaking on a television programme in Lagos however said that there appeared to be an operational dysfunction amongst the agencies in the presidency where “the left does not know what the right is doing and the right does not know what the left is doing.”

He said that the president ought to have been briefed on the security report about Magu since Directorate of State service works on advisory role to the presidency.

He said were the right thing done by the agencies, it would have saved the government the embarrassment caused by senate’s rejection of the president’s nominee.

“I do not know the veracity of the allegations. But Magu no longer enjoys the credibility as before.

“He will no doubt lack the effectiveness to continue with the job after security reports were given by senate as reasons for rejecting his confirmation.

“The president needs somebody that will give bite to the anti-corruption fight; we have had such in the past,” he said.

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“At present, the presidency seems to be in quagmire. You cannot give what you do not have.

“There is issue of credibility. People think the president has not done enough to fulfil his promises,” he said.

Oyebode, who is also the chairman of the office of International Relations, Partnership and Prospects, University of Lagos alleged that there might be conspiracies by those who do not want Magu to be there.

According to him, “Magu seems to have intensified the anti-corruption fight.”

“But if the president was aware of the report, maybe he would have nominated another person. And that maybe what he may ultimately do, because the senate appears stuck to its position.

“The president has done well in the area of security. He has put Boko Haram to where it belongs; though he still needs to assuage other agitators like IPOB, Niger Delta Force etc.

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“However, he needs to put the right people in the right places, maybe re-jig his cabinet.

“The president is said to be a procedural person but there are things that are more expedient than ordinary process.

“He needs to re-order things. He needs to fight hunger. He needs to be decisive on the issues of herdsmen.

“People accuse him of not acting because he is a Fulani. The president should forward the name of the Chief Justice of the Federation to the senate and allow them decide if he is fit and proper,” he added.

 “The acting CJN has the requisite qualifications. I don’t know the alibi the president will come up with.

“He should remove that albatross of leaving the man in acting capacity from his neck.

“The man should be duly appointed because leaving him in acting capacity is unacceptable.”