Meet Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, New Ag. Chief Justice of Nigeria

Buhari swears-in Iseyin Oyo-born top Jurist as Acting CJN

A justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Olukayode Tajudeen Ariwoola, has been sworn in as the acting Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Platforms Africa reports.

President Muhammadu Buhari led the official occasion on Monday afternoon, following the sudden resignation of Justice Tanko Muhammad from the Judicial position.

Justice Muhammad, it was gathered, was forced to resign over the weekend, although the information in the public space is that he’s quitting on health grounds.

Mr Ahuraka Isah, the Special Assistant on Media to the immediate past CJN, confirmed the resignation of his principal on Monday.

He also disclosed that Justice Ariwoola was expected to be inaugurated as the acting CJN by the Presidency at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

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Meet The Man Ariwoola

Acting CJN, Justice Olukayode Tajudeen Ariwoola sworn in.

His promotion comes after erstwhile Chief Justice, Tanko Mohammed resigned, citing ill-health.

Ariwoola was appointed a Justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria in 2011.

He was a Justice of the Court of Appeal between 2005 and 2011 after having been elevated from the State High Court of Oyo State. He was first appointed a Judge of Superior Court of record in Oyo State in 1992 from private legal practice.

Ariwoola started his educational career in his home town Iseyin at the Local Authority Demonstration School, Oluwole in Iseyin Local government of Oyo State between 1959 and 1967. He was in the Muslim Modern School in the same town between 1968 and 1969 before proceeding to Ansar-Ud-Deen High School, Saki in Oyo North of Oyo State.

He studied law at the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University), Ile Ife and bagged his bachelor of laws degree with honors in July 1980. In July 1981, Ariwoola was called to the Nigeria bar and got enrolled at the Supreme Court of Nigeria as a Solicitor and Advocate soon thereafter.

Ariwoola was a State Counsel on National Youth Service (NYSC) at the Ministry of Justice, Akure, Ondo State and later as Legal Officer.

Build up

A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, who pleaded anonymity has also disclosed to reporters that Justice Ariwoola would be sworn in at 2pm.

Justice Muhammad was reported to have resigned as the Chief Justice of Nigeria on Sunday night, citing ill-health as the reason for his decision.

This resulted in the scheduled inauguration of Justice Ariwoola – the next most senior justice of the Supreme Court at the time of Justice Muhammad’s resignation.

Until his resignation, according to reports, the immediate past CJN was seriously ill.

News of his resignation broke barely a week after 14 justices of the Supreme Court wrote to him to lament the dilapidated state of affairs in the apex court.

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In the leaked letter, the justices alleged that Justice Muhammad failed to address the issues raised despite drawing his attention to them.

They had complained of a lack of residential accommodation and vehicles at the court, alleging that the former CJN was gallivanting with his ‘spouse, children and personal staff’ while not allowing them to travel with an assistant on foreign trips.

The justices also decried the lack of legal research assistants despite the magnitude of cases being adjudicated, in addition to being confined to work between the hours of 8am to 4pm daily without adequate power supply and lack of diesel to power generator.

But these allegations were denied by an aide to the former CJN.

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