The acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, was screened and confirmed by the Senate as the substantive head of the Judiciary arm of government by the Senate on Wednesday.
The screening lasted one hour during when senators across political party lines, asked questions bordering on the plans of Ariwoola to turn the Judiciary arms of government around during his tenure.
Satisfied with the performance of the CJN during the questions and answers session, the senators unanimously approved his appointment after the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, put the approval to voice vote.
Ariwoola’s, confirmation came, close to three months after his appointment by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The acting CJN was appointed on June 27 2022 and he has three months to get the Senate confirmation, failure which he would have required fresh nomination.
Buhari, in a letter dated July 26, asked the Senate to confirm Ariwoola’s appointment as the substantive CJN, three days before the National Assembly’s annual vacation.
The letter had read, “Pursuant to Section 231(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), I forward for confirmation by the Senate, the appointment of Hon. Justice Olukayode Ariwoola as the Chief Justice of Nigeria.
“While I hope that the submission will be considered in the usual expeditious manner, please accept, Distinguished Senate President, the assurances of my highest consideration.”
Ariwoola’s appointment as CJN by Buhari was sequel to the resignation of former Chief Justice Muhammad Tanko on 27th June, 2022.
Tanko’s resignation was against the backdrop of a protest by 14 aggrieved Justices over issues of welfare.
However, the former CJN, in his resignation letter, cited health grounds as reason for his decision.
Ariwoola on Monday, June 27, took the oath of office as the acting CJN. His appointment in acting capacity, took effect from that day.
The President administered the oath of office on Ariwoola at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.
The NJC had recommended Ariwoola to Buhari for appointment as the acting CJN following the resignation of Justice Tanko Muhammad.
Ariwoola being the most senior judicial officer of the Supreme Court after Justice Muhammad, was next in line for the position of CJN.