The Senate has confirmed Justice Olukayode Ariwoola as the substantive Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN).
Justice Ariwoola was confirmed after responding to a few questions from lawmakers on the floor of the Senate on Wednesday, September 21, 2022.
Ariwoola was appointed as the acting CJN after Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad resigned as the head of the country’s judiciary in June 2022.
Muhammad resigned after 14 justices of the apex court accused the CJN of corruption and abandoning his responsibilities as the leader of the court.
But Justice Muhammad denied the allegations and condemned taking the issues to the public.
Speaking during the confirmation hearing, Justice Ariwoola said it was miraculous that the memo was leaked to the public because no justice had a copy of it.
“How the memo was leaked to the press is still a miracle to us. In fact, no justice has a copy of the memo. We (14 justices) sat together, wrote the memo, signed it and took it in person to our brother, the Chief Justice,” he said.
Justice Tajudeen Ariwoola hailed from Iseyin, Oyo state, and was born 22 August 1958. He studied law at the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University), Ile Ife, and bagged his bachelor of laws degree with honours in July 1980.
He was called to the Nigeria bar and got enrolled at the Supreme Court of Nigeria as a Solicitor and Advocate in July 1981. Justice Ariwoola was a State Counsel on National Youth Service (NYSC) at the Ministry of Justice, Akure, Ondo State and later as Legal Officer in the Ministry of Justice of his home state Oyo State until 1988 when he voluntarily left the official bar of the State Civil Service for private practice.
He worked as Counsel in-Chambers of Chief Ladosu Ladapo, SAN between October, 1988 and July 1989 when he established Olukayode Ariwoola & Co – a firm of legal Practitioners and Consultants in Oyo town in August 1989 from where he was appointed in November 1992 as a Judge of Oyo State Judiciary.
Ariwoola also served on the Election Tribunals in Zamfara and Enugu States in 1999. On Election Appeal Courts in Port-Harcourt, Enugu, Benin, Yola, and Ilorin at various times.
His lordship served as Justice of Court of Appeal in Kaduna, Enugu and Lagos Divisions. He is also a fellow of International Dispute Resolution Institute (FIDRI) having been inducted in Dubai, U.A.E in 2014.
He was sworn in as a Judge of the High Court on November 2, 1992, as a Justice of the Court of Appeal (JCA) on November 22, 2005, and again was sworn in as Justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria (JSC) on November 22, 2011.
Justice Ariwoola is currently a member of the Nigerian Bar Association, the International Bar Association, and the Nigerian Body of Benchers.