President Muhammadu Buhari has asked the Senate to confirm Justice Olukayode Ariwoola as the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN).
His request was contained in a letter read out by the Senate President, Dr. Ahmad Lawan, at the start of plenary on Tuesday.
The request for confirmation, he said, is in accordance with Section 231(1) of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria.
Although President Buhari had appointed and sworn in Justice Ariwoola in acting capacity last month, it is mandatory that the appointment of the latter be confirmed by the Senate.
The new CJN’s appointment comes about a month after his predecessor, Justice Muhammad Tanko, resigned.
Justice Muhammad had tendered his resignation citing health conditions as his reason for resigning – confirming media speculations about his ill health since coming to office in 2019.
He, however, resigned amid crisis in the Supreme Court following allegations by his 14 colleagues on the Supreme Court bench that he is hampering the operations of the court by failing to fund judges’ welfare as well as fuel generators, among other essential services.
The Justices, in a leaked memo, protested Justice Muhammad’s handling of the operations of the court.
He is the second CJN in a row to abruptly exit office since 2020 – after his, Justice Walter Onnoghen, was suspended by the President.
The new CJN, Ariwoola was appointed a Justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria in 2011.
He had served as a Justice of the Court of Appeal between 2005 and 2011.