Walter Samuel Nkanu Onnoghen is the new Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) following his confirmation by the Senate on Wednesday.

Here are some of the things you don’t know about the new CJN.

  • Onnoghen, who hails from Okurike town, Biase Local Government Area of Cross River, was born on December 22, 1950.
  • He graduated from the University of Ghana at Legon, Ghana in 1977 and from the Nigerian Law School in Lagos in 1978.

  • He has spent 38 unblemished and prolific years in the legal profession. But a greater part of his experience has been on the bench, having spent nine years as a judge of the Cross River State Judiciary (1989-1998), seven years as a Justice of the Court of Appeal (1998-2005) and 11 years as a Justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria (2005-date).
  • Onnoghen is the first southerner to be CJN since 1987 when Ayo Irikefe retired.
  • Onnoghen will be in office till December 2020, barring any circumstances beyond his control.
  • He alongside two other judges of the Supreme Court had in 2007 nullified the election of the then President, Late Umaru Musa Yar’Adua
  • He is a member of the Body of Benchers and Life Bencher; Chairman, Governing Council of the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, and Vice-Chairman, Legal Practitioners’ Privileges Committee.
  • He read the lead judgment that dismissed Senator Bukola Saraki’s interlocutory application challenging the jurisdiction of the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) to hear his false asset declaration allegation for not being properly constituted.
  • When not writing judgments or presiding over marathon proceedings at the court, Justice Onnoghen spends his time in the farm.
  • Though a devout Presbyterian Christian, Justice Onnoghen is also well attuned to the rich Akpaa-Ekoi-Ejagham culture of his people. For instance, the age grade system and the new yam festival are some of the traditions he relishes a lot.