JUST IN: Fresh Trouble Looms, Few Hours After Sworn In, Acting CJN Speaks On Allegations Levelled Against Former CJN, Tanko

JUST IN: Fresh Trouble Looms, Few Hours After Sworn In, Acting CJN Speaks On Allegations Levelled Against Former CJN, Tanko

Few Hours After Sworn In Acting CJN Speaks On Allegations Levelled Against Former CJN, Tanko

Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), has commented on the allegation levelled against Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad.

Muhammad tendered his resignation earlier in the day, paving the way for Ariwoola, who is next in line in terms of seniority.

President Muhammadu Buhari administered the oath of office on Ariwoola at the Council Chamber of the Presidential Villa in Abuja.

Speaking with State House Correspondents after taking the oath of office, Ariwoola said with the support of his colleagues, the judiciary under him shall not fail Nigerians.

“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 Nigerian,” he said.

On how he would address the controversy in the Supreme Court, the acting CJN 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.”

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Asked about the welfare issues highlighted 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.”

Earlier, Buhari showered encomium on Muhammad, saying his era witnessed several landmark, jurisprudential and policy decisions by the Supreme Court, and by extension other Courts established by the Constitution.

He said: “Ordinarily, he was scheduled to retire from the Supreme Court on the last day of 2023. Unfortunately, as no man is infallible, ill-health has cut short Chief Justice Tanko’s leadership of the Nigerian Judiciary at this time.

“​I am therefore constrained to accept his retirement, albeit with mixed-feelings. Much as one may wish that the Chief Justice of Nigeria Muhammed Tanko is able to fully serve his term in office, it presupposes that he is able to perform the functions of the Office without let, hindrance or any form of disability.

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“The instant resignation of Justice Tanko is however envisaged under Section 231(4) of the 1999 Constitution as amended which contain provisions relating to vacancy and the occupant of the Office of Chief Justice of Nigeria being unable to perform the functions of the Office for any reason.

“​Under a constitutional democracy like ours, government powers and responsibilities are clearly allocated and shared among the three tiers; the Executive, the Legislature and the Judiciary. The three organs must work harmoniously and optimally in accordance with their respective Constitutional mandates.

“Nigeria’s Judiciary under the leadership of Chief Justice of Nigeria Tanko Muhammed judiciously exercised the Judicial powers of the Federation.

“CJN Tanko dealt firmly with the issue of reckless and indiscriminate grant of ex-parte Orders that was assuming serious dimensions.”


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