Justice Olukayode Ariwoola of the Supreme Court on Monday took the judicial oath of office as the acting Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN).
President Muhammadu Buhari administered the oath of office to Justice Ariwoola during a swearing-in ceremony held at the Council Chamber of the Presidential Villa in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
Ariwoola, 67, takes over from the outgone CJN, justice Tanko Muhammad, is expected to serve in an acting capacity till further confirmation by the National Judicial Council (NJC).
While taking the judicial oath, he 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.
Justice Muhammad had resigned as the Chief Justice of Nigeria on Sunday night, citing ill-health as the reason for his decision.
This led to the inauguration of Justice Ariwoola – the next most senior justice of the Supreme Court at the time of Justice Muhammad’s resignation.
Until his resignation, according to reports, the immediate past CJN was seriously ill.
News of his resignation broke barely a week after 14 justices of the Supreme Court wrote to him to lament the dilapidated state of affairs in the apex court.
In the leaked letter, the justices alleged that Justice Muhammad failed to address the issues raised despite drawing his attention to them.
They had complained of a lack of residential accommodation and vehicles at the court, alleging that the former CJN was gallivanting with his ‘spouse, children and personal staff’ while not allowing them to travel with an assistant on foreign trips.
But these allegations were denied by an aide to the former CJN.