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‘We Have Started Resolving Issues Raised By 14 Justices Of Supreme Court’ — New Acting CJN, Ariwoola

President Muhammadu Buhari has sworn Justice Kayode Ariwoola in as Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN).

Buhari administered the oath of office on Ariwoola at the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Justice Ariwoola became the presumptive lead justice of the Nigerian Supreme Court, following the sudden resignation of Justice Tanko Muhammad as CJN, citing health reasons.

Ariwoola, who arrived the Presidential Villa in the company of fellow Justices of the Supreme Court around 2.45pm in a white tinted coaster bus, headed straight for the Council Chambers.

Ariwoola is the third Supreme Court Justice to occupy the top judiciary job of the country in the life of the Buhari-led administration.

Justice Walter Onnoghen also became the CJN under the President Buhari administration before he resigned from office.

Performing the swearing-in ceremony, Buhari said: “In the circumstances, and as nature abhors a vacuum, I hereby invite Honourable Olukayode Ariwoola JSC, being the next most Senior Justice of the Supreme Court, to come forward to take the Judicial Oath as Chief Justice of Nigeria in an Acting Capacity, pursuant to Section 231(4) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).

The brief ceremony was witnessed by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo; Chief of Staff to the President Prof. Ibrahim Gambari; the Attorney General of the Federation, AGF and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami and some Justices the of Supreme Court”.

Speaking after his swearing-in as Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Ariwoola said with the cooperation of all the justices of the Supreme Court, he would strive to honour and preserve Nigeria’s Constitution, assuring that the Judiciary would not fail Nigerians.

He also dispelled all fears that the harmony of the apex court was heading for the rocks, clarifying that the recent memorandum, alleging neglect and signed by all justices of the Court, was an internal matter, which already was being handled.

“What Nigerians expect from me is to comply, abide and preserve the Constitution of Nigeria and that is what I will do with the cooperation of my brother justices of the supreme court. We shall not fail Nigeria

“There is no controversy at the Supreme Court. We are one with the Chief Justice. That is why you heard the President said the lordship is disengaging on the grounds of ill-health. No controversy, we are one”, he assured.

Asked about the welfare issues raised in the memorandum, which had been circulating in the media, the Acting CJN 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 was presented to him, his Lordship, directly. They were issues to be resolved amongst the justices”.

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