Following the unexpected resignation of Justice Ibrahim Tanko Mohammad as Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) on Monday morning, Nigerian’s await the swearing in of the next Justice in the order of seniority, Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, in acting capacity.
Already journalists are waiting with bated breath for the swearing-in at the Supreme Court. However, it appears that mum is the word.
A source disclosed to Gavel International that word is being expected from the presidency about the swearing-in.
Since there cannot be a vacuum, an Acting Chief Justice is expected to be sworn-in today, and the next most senior justice will be sworn-in. The Acting CJN them assumes office and the Acting Chairman of the Federal Judicial Service Commission, National Judicial Council (NJC), and the National Judicial Institute.
A senior lawyer, Jiti Ogunye, explaining the process to thegavel.com.ng stated that once sworn in in acting capacity, the FJSC is expected to recommend the next CJN to the NJC, which will in turn recommend to the President. The president is expected to submit the name to the Senate for confirmation proceedings before the person becomes a substantive Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.
Human rights lawyer, Femi Falana SAN further explained that the president has to approve and swear in the next person in rank in acting capacity immediately so that the system will not collapse
The most senior justice in rank to Justice Mohammad who just resigned is Justice Kayode Ariwoola. He was appointed into the Supreme Court bench on November 22, 2011.
Prior to getting into the apex bench, he was Justice of Court of Appeal since November 22, 2005 until he joined the Supreme Court. Ariwoola was appointed judge of the High Court of Oyo State on November 2, 1992.
Born on August 22, 1958 to the Ariwoola family of Iseyin, Oyo State, young Ariwoola attended Local Authority Demonstration School, Oluwole in Iseyin Local Government between 1959 and 1967. He attended Muslim Modern School, Iseyin(1968-69), and Ansar-ud-Deen Secondary School, Shaki, from where he proceeded to the University of Ife (Now Obafemi Awolowo University), Ile-Ife, and graduated with honours in 1980. He was called to the Nigeria bar in 1981, having attended the Nigerian Law School, Lagos.
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