Hon. Justice Walter S. N. Onnoghen was born on the 22nd December, 1950 at Okurike Town, Biase Local Government Area of Cross River State.
He attended the Presbyterian Primary School, Okurike Town between 1959 and 1965. He later proceeded to Accra, Ghana to attend Odorgorno Secondary School, Adabraka, Ghana between 1967 and 1972 for his West African Examination Council (WAEC) Examination.
He was at Accra Academy, Ghana between 1972 and 1974 for his WAEC (A-Levels) before proceeding to the University of Ghana, Legon, Ghana between 1974 and 1977 to obtain his Bachelor of Law Degree (LL.B (Hons)) and graduated with 2nd Class Upper Division.
He attended the Nigerian Law School, Victoria Island, Lagos between 1977 and 1978 for his B.L certificate.
His previous professional appointments/positions held includes:
Pupil State Counsel, Ministry of Justice, Ikeja, Lagos State (1978 - 1979)
Partner in the Law Firm of Effiom Ekong & Company, Calabar (1979 - 1988)
Principal Partner/Head of Chambers of Walter Onnoghen & Associates, Calabar (1988 - 1989)
High Court Judge, Cross River State Judiciary (1989 - 1998)
Chairman, Cross River State Armed Robbery and Fire Arms Tribunal (1990 - 1993)
Chairman, Judicial Enquiry into the Crisis between Students of the University of Calabar and Obufa Esuk Orok Community, Calabar (1996)
Chairman, Failed Banks Tribunal, Ibadan Zone (1998)
Justice of the Court of Appeal (1998 - 2005)
A Fellow, Chattered Institute of Arbitrators, etc. Hon. Justice W. S. Nkanu Onnoghen has attended several conferences and seminars around the world. He is a member of the Body of Benchers, a Life Bencher and current Chairman of the Body of Benchers.
Hon. Justice W. S. Nkanu Onnoghen was appointed a Justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria on 8 June, 2005. He was sworn in as Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) on the 10 of November, 2016. On the 7th day of March, 2017, Hon. Justice W. S. N. Onnoghen, GCON was sworn in as the 16th Chief Justice of Nigeria.
Hon. Justice W. S. N. Onnoghen, GCON was also awarded the National Honours of Commander f the Order of the Niger (CON) and Commander of the Order of the Federal Republic (CFR).
He is happily married with children.