Supreme Court has clarified the purported inconsistency in the age record of the newly sworn-in Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Olukayode Ariwoola.
Gatekeepers News reports that the Director of Information of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, Dr Festus Aweneri said Justice Ariwoola was born in 1954 and not 1958, adding that he started his primary school education in 1959.
The official website of the Supreme Court had earlier revealed that the jurist was born in Iseyin, Oyo State, on August 22, 1958, and began his primary education in 1959 at the Local Authority Demonstration School, Oluwole, in his hometown.
Specifically, the details on the website suggested that he was less than one year when he began his primary education.
However, the resume which emerged from the official record of the Supreme Court on the issue said the CJN was born on the 22nd of August 1954 in Oke Ogun Area of Oyo state, and commenced his education at Local Authority Demonstration Primary School from 1959 to 1966, from whence he moved to Muslim Modern School from 1967 to 1969.
According to the resumè, Justice Ariwoola had his University education at the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University) between 1977 and 1980, and then proceed to the Nigeria Law School in 1980 and was called to Bar in July 1981.
In the meantime, Gatekeepers News can confirm that the official website of the apex court is currently down.
Justice Ariwoola’s name was submitted to President Muhammadu Buhari to replace Justice Tanko Muhammad who resigned his appointment on Monday.
He emerged the successor of Tanko in line with the age-long tradition at the bench to the effect that when the incumbent head of court vacates office either by reason of death, retirement, resignation or sack, the most senior judge takes over.
The tradition is to ensure predictability and zero rancour on the bench on the issue of succession.
Justice Ariwoola who took his oath of office on Monday is expected to serve in an acting capacity for a maximum of three months until confirmation by the National Judicial Council (NJC) and the National Assembly.
At the swearing-in ceremony in the presidential villa, the acting CJN swore to be faithful and bear true allegiance to the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Meanwhile, some northern justices were said to be against his appointment on the ground that the 68-year-old is allegedly battling health issues.
They alleged that the illness might affect Ariwoola’s performance as the leader of the supreme court just as it affected the immediate past CJN.