Acting CJN, Justice Olukayode Ariwoola Speaks On Allegations Levelled Against Tanko

Buhari swears in Justice Olukayode Ariwoola as acting CJN
A photo taken on June 27, 2022 shows the acting CJN, Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, at the State House in Abuja.

Acting CJN, Justice Olukayode Ariwoola has Commented On Allegations Levelled Against Tanko Muhammad.

The charge brought against Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad has been addressed by Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Olukayode Ariwoola.

Ariwoola, who is the next in line in terms of seniority, was given the opportunity after Muhammad tendered his retirement earlier in the day.

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Ariwoola received his oath of office from President Muhammadu Buhari in the Council Chamber of the Presidential Villa in Abuja.

After taking the oath of office, Ariwoola told State House Correspondents that, with the backing of his colleagues, the judiciary he will lead will not let Nigerians down.

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“What Nigerians want from me is to uphold, comply with, and uphold the Federal Republic of Nigeria Constitution. And that’s okay. That is what I shall do, especially with my fellow Supreme Court Justices’ assistance. We won’t let Nigeria down, he declared.

There is no controversy in the Supreme Court, the acting CJN stated when asked how he would respond to it. With the Chief Justice, we are one. That is why the President stated that His Lordship was disengaging due to ill health. We are one, there is no debate.

When questioned about the concerns for the former CJN’s welfare that were raised in the letter, he responded, “It was an internal note of the court. The request was not one. Not a letter, that was. The Chief Justice’s brother Justices addressed it to His Lordship and gave it to him in person. Justices needed to settle some disagreements.

When questioned about whether those problems will be fixed under his direction, he responded, “Yeah, we’ve started tackling it.”

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Earlier, Buhari praised Muhammad, saying his time was marked by a number of important legal and policy decisions made by the Supreme Court and, therefore, by other courts created by the Constitution.

Normally, he was supposed to leave the Supreme Court by the end of 2023, he added. Unfortunately, as no man is infallible, Chief Justice Tanko’s leadership of the Nigerian judiciary at this time has been curtailed by bad health.

I must, then, accept his retirement, while having conflicting emotions about it. As much as one may hope for Nigeria’s Chief Justice Muhammed Tanko to be able to complete his tenure in office, this assumes that he is able to carry out his duties without interference, hindrance, or any other sort of handicap.

“However, under Section 231(4) of the 1999 Constitution as amended, which contains provisions relating to vacancies and the occupant of the Office of Chief Justice of Nigeria being unable to perform the functions of the Office for any reason, the immediate resignation of Justice Tanko is contemplated.

“In a constitutional democracy like ours, the Executive, the Legislature, and the Judiciary have distinct roles and responsibilities that are shared among the three branches of government. In order for the three organs to fulfil their separate constitutional tasks, they must function effectively and in unison.

Buhari swears in Justice Olukayode Ariwoola as acting CJN
A photo taken on June 27, 2022 shows the acting CJN, Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, at the State House in Abuja.

Under the direction of Chief Justice of Nigeria Tanko Muhammad, the Nigerian judiciary wisely exercised its judicial powers.

The issue of the careless and indiscriminate granting of ex-parte Orders that was taking on severe dimensions was dealt with forcefully by CJN Tanko.


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