Following a report monitored on TheCable, which raised concerns over the Credentials of the newly sworn acting CJN Olukayode Ariwoola on Monday following the resignation of Ibrahim Tanko.
Ariwoola is expected to serve in an acting capacity until confirmation by the National Judicial Council (NJC) and the national assembly.
Reacting to the fresh questions raised over the credentials of Ariwoola, particularly on the date on which he began school, Festus Akande, the spokesperson of the supreme court, however, said that the acting CJN was born in 1954.
Akande told TheCable that there is no “disparity” in the age of Ariwoola, while he also shared his curriculum vitae.
“There is no disparity and I don’t know where those people got that information from,” he said.
Responding to whether the site was edited, Akande said: “Not at all. It has never been so. How can they do that?”
According to section 291 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as Amended), a Supreme Court judge is expected to retire at the age of 70.
If Ariwoola was born in 1958, he would have served as the CJN — if confirmed by the senate — from 2022 to 2028. But being born in 1954 means the justice will only serve as the head of the apex court from 2022 to 2024.
Afe Babalola, a senior advocate of Nigeria, had, in April 2021, advocated for the retirement age of supreme court justices to be increased from 70 to 100. Thomas Okpoko, another senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN), rejected the call.
On the issue of I’ll health, no comment was made on it before Ariwoola was sworn in to his new role, insiders within the apex court told TheCable that some northern justices were against his appointment on the grounds that the 67-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 did the immediate past CJN.
The next in hierarchy to him, Musa Dattijo Muhammad, is also said to be very ill and had returned from a surgery.