The brand new performing chief justice was a signatory to a uncommon grievance by Supreme Courtroom justices in opposition to his predecessor.
Abuja, Nigeria – Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari has sworn in a brand new performing chief justice, barely hours after the resignation of the earlier one.
In a swearing-in ceremony on Monday within the capital, Justice Olukayode Ariwoola took the oath of workplace to exchange Tanko Muhammad, who stepped down earlier within the day, citing well being causes.
On the ceremony, Buhari stated he had obtained Justice Tanko Muhammad’s resignation because the land’s highest judicial officer and was “constrained to simply accept his retirement, albeit with blended emotions”.
In line with the president, the previous chief justice was scheduled to retire from the Supreme Courtroom on the final day of 2023 however “sadly, as no man is infallible, ill-health has reduce brief Chief Justice Tanko’s management of the Nigerian judiciary right now.”
“A lot as one might need that the Chief Justice of Nigeria Muhammad Tanko is ready to absolutely serve his time period in workplace, it presupposes that he’s in a position to carry out the capabilities of the workplace with out let, hindrance or any type of incapacity,” Buhari added.
Muhammad’s resignation got here barely every week after 14 of the 16 justices of the Supreme Courtroom, together with Ariwoola, complained about Muhammad’s management, saying he had failed to handle the welfare issues of his colleagues, in a leaked memo.
Till his swearing-in, Ariwoola was the second most senior justice of the Supreme Courtroom. Earlier than his appointment to the apex courtroom in 2011, he spent six years prior on the Courtroom of Attraction, based on the Supreme Courtroom’s web site. He was elevated to the appellate courtroom after serving with the state excessive courtroom of the southwestern state of Oyo.
In line with the courtroom’s data, he additionally served on the election tribunals in Zamfara and Enugu states in 1999 and on election attraction courts in 5 totally different cities at numerous occasions.
‘An all-time low’
The 63-year-old Ariwoola will steer a Nigerian judiciary that has more and more been seen as corrupt. Muhammad’s ascendancy to chief justice got here after his predecessor Walter Onnoghen was controversially suspended, simply weeks forward of an election wherein the judiciary normally performs an essential function. The suspension was criticised by native and worldwide observers on the time.
“There may be near-universal settlement that public confidence within the judiciary and certainly the authorized career is at an all-time low,” Nigerian Bar Affiliation (NBA) President Olumide Akpata stated in an announcement on Monday.
“There may be now greater than ever the necessity for pressing reforms within the judiciary and to rebuild the just about dissipated confidence that Nigerians have within the judiciary and the broader authorized career in Nigeria,” Akpata stated. “These ought to kind the instant first duties for Honourable Mr. Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, who is anticipated to now take over because the Appearing Chief Justice of Nigeria.”
An Abuja-based member of the NBA who spoke to Al Jazeera on situation of anonymity as a result of he was not authorised to do, stated there are issues inside the attorneys’ physique concerning the timing of Muhammad’s resignation forward of a pending investigation into the complaints raised in opposition to him.
The transfer appeared “irresistibly linked to the allegations made in opposition to him by his brother judges,” he stated. “I imply, he hasn’t been in nice well being for the longest time. What we consider is that an investigation would have thrown up plenty of new points that will have embarrassed the CJN, making it essential that he resigns to avoid wasting himself the difficulty.”
Talking after his swearing-in, Ariwoola stated he would “comply, abide and protect the structure of Nigeria … with the cooperation of my brother justices of the supreme courtroom.”
“We will not fail Nigeria,” he added.
He stated the problems raised within the leaked memo, to which he was a signatory, are being resolved on the apex courtroom.