President Muhammadu Buhari has accepted the voluntary retirement from service of Justice Walter Onnoghen as Chief Justice of Nigeria, effective from May 28, 2019.
A statement by the President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, confirmed this in Abuja on Sunday.
The statement reported the President as thanking Onnoghen for his service to the country and wished him the best of retirement life.
Before his appointment as the Chief Justice of the Federation, he worked with the Ministry of Justice, Ikeja, Lagos, Ogun State between 1978-1979, as the Pupil State Counsel. When he left Ministry of Justice, he went to partner in the Law firm of Effiom Ekong & Company, Calabar between 1979 – 1988. He later became the Principal Partner/Head of Chamber of Walter Onnoghen & Associates, Calabar from the period of 1988 – 1989.
Between 1989 – 1998, he was a High Court Judge of Cross Rivers State Judiciary. During his time as the High Court Judge of Cross Rivers State Judiciary he was made the Chairman of Cross Rivers State Armed Robbery and Firm Arms Tribunal and he held the post for 3 years between 1990 – 1993.
Sometime in 1996 while still holding the post of High Court Judge of Cross Rivers State Judiciary, he was appointed the Chairman, Judicial Enquiry into the Crisis between Students of the University of Calabar and Obufa Esuk Orok Community, Calabar.
In 1998, he was the Chairman, Failed Bank Tribunal, Ibadan Zone. Between the period of 1992 to 2004, he served as the Judge, High Court of Rivers State while from 1998 to 2005 he served as the Justice of the Court of Appeal.
In February 2016, Justice Onnoghen led a seven-man panel of Justices of the apex court who reviewed and upheld the death sentence of Chukwuemeka Ezeugo (aka Rev. King) of the Christian Praying Assembly.
In 2007, Justice Onnoghen played a huge role in 2007 election which saw the Late Umaru Yar’adua as President of the federal republic of Nigeria. He had a dissenting judgment that indeed annulled the presidential election. His position was however a minority judgment.