Justice Olukayode Ariwoola
The president administered the oath of office to Justice Ariwoola during a swearing-in ceremony held on Monday, June 27, at the Council Chamber of the Presidential Villa in Abuja.
The 62-year-old judge took over from the former CJN, Justice Tanko Muhammad, and is expected to serve in an acting capacity till further confirmation by the National Judicial Council (NJC).
While taking the judicial oath, Ariwoola swore to be faithful and bear true allegiance to the Federal Government of Nigeria, as well as defend the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
He said, “What Nigerians expect from me is to comply, preserve and abide and protect the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. And so be it. That is what I will do especially with the cooperation of my brother Justices of the Supreme Court. We shall not fail Nigerians.”
On how he intends to handle the controversy in the Supreme Court, he said: “There is no controversy in the Supreme Court. We are one with the Chief Justice. That’s why you heard the President said His Lordship, is disengaging on the grounds of ill-health. No controversy we’re one.”
Asked about the welfare issues raised in the letter addressed to the former CJN, he said: “It was an internal memo of the court. It was not a petition. It was not a letter. It was addressed by the brother Justices of the Chief Justice and presented to him, His Lordship directly. There were issues to be resolved amongst justices.”
Asked if those issues would be resolved under his leadership, he said: “Yeah, we’ve started resolving it.”
In attendance were Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, other Justices of the Supreme Court, Director-General of the State Security Service, Yusuf Bichi, amongst others.
Born on August 22, 1958, Justice Ariwoola, who hails from Oyo State was formerly a Justice of the Court of Appeal before being elevated to the Supreme Court bench in 2011.