President Muhammadu Buhari will swear in Olukayode Ariwoola as acting chief justice of Nigeria (CJN) today.
Ibrahim Muhammad resigned as CJN on Monday.
Although he was said to have resigned on the grounds of ill-health, TheCable learnt he was forced to quit his position.
Fourteen justices of the supreme court had accused the CJN of abandoning his responsibility as the leader of the court.
The judges also accused the CJN of going on foreign trips with his family while denying them the right to go on international trainings.
TheCable learnt there was a memo from the judges to the presidency, highlighting all of the CJN’s financial dealings, and threatening that they would stop sitting from September if he is not removed.
TheCable understands plans are underway to inaugurate Muhammad’s replacement so as to leave no vacuum.
Ariwoola is the next highest-ranking justice of the supreme court and he is expected to take over in acting capacity from Monday.
According to the procedure for the appointment of the CJN, the Federal Judicial Service Commission (FJSC) shortlists two or three most senior judges among the supreme court justices and sends their names to the National Judicial Council (NJC) which then selects one candidate and forwards it to the president before it goes to the senate confirmation.
But to leave no vacuum, an acting CJN must be appointed.
But who is the new acting CJN? TheCable takes a dive into the antecedents of the soon-to-be-announced leader of Nigeria’s judiciary.
Ariwoola was born in Iseyin, Oyo state, on August 22, 1958. He had his primary education at the Local Authority Demonstration School, Oluwole, in his hometown between 1959 and 1967. He then moved to Muslim Modern School in the same town from 1968 to 1969 before graduating to Ansar-Ud-Deen high school, Saki area of Oyo, for secondary education.
He earned his law degree at the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University) in 1980 and a year later he was called to the Nigeria bar and got enrolled as a solicitor and advocate of the supreme court.
He kicked off his career as a legal officer in the Oyo state ministry of justice and stayed in the role until he moved into private practice in 1988.
DID A STINT IN PRIVATE PRACTICE
Ariwoola spent less than four years in private practice before he was whisked back into public service.
Between 1988 and July 1989, he was a counsel in-chambers of Ladosu Ladapo before moving to establish his own legal firm named “Olukayode Ariwoola & Co”. Three years later, he was called to the bench.
RETURN TO PUBLIC SERVICE AND CALL TO BENCH
Ariwoola was back in public service by 1992 when he was appointed a judge of the superior court of record in Oyo.
He was named the chairman of the Oyo state armed robbery tribunal between May 1993 and September 1996.
In 2005, he then rose to the position of a justice of the court of appeal and he held the position before he was appointed a justice of the supreme court of Nigeria in 2011.