ABUJA – The newly sworn-in Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, has pleaded with politicians in the country to stop mounting pressures on the judiciary.
He spoke to State House correspondents after his inauguration at the Council Chamber of the Presidential Villa by President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday.
According to him, politicians and citizens alike should allow the judiciary perform its functions to its optimal best, stressing the dynamism of the law.
He also assured never to let Nigerians down with his appointment by improving the judiciary.
He said, “law is not static and that’s why you have seen that the National Assembly continued to amend the laws and it is the laws that the courts apply to the facts available. We shall continue to do justice if only Nigerians will allow us to perform and function without any pressure.
“Like you can see all of them are here with me, as they were when I was sworn-in in acting capacity. With their support, we shall not fail Nigerians. We shall make progress and advance the judiciary of Nigeria to benefit, not only the common man, all men and women.”
Commenting on the ongoing reforms in the Judiciary, Ariwoola said, “We are computerizing the Supreme Court already, and all other courts of records so that the delay in filing cases will become a thing of the past. We’re creating e-filing, we are creating e-diary so that lawyers can stay in the comfort of their chambers and contact the court, address the court by zoom.
“Computerization is already taking place, not only in the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeal and other courts of record in Nigeria.”
Also speaking with State House correspondents, Oyo State governor, Seyi Makinde, who witnessed the swearing-in ceremony along with his Ondo State counterpart, Rotimi Akeredolu, thanked President Buhari on behalf of the people and government of Oyo State for the appointment of an Oyo State indigene as CJN.
He said the state had not been in such a position for a long while.
“We are really happy. One of our own is now the Chief Justice of Nigeria and the good people of Oyo State are thankful to Mr. President for seeing the process through; from Justice Ariwoola being appointed as the acting CJN; his confirmation at the Senate, and now his being sworn-in as the substantive Chief Justice of Nigeria.”
On the import of the appointment to the state, Makinde said: “Well, you know, it’s been quite a while when this type of opportunity knocked on our door. So, we counted ourselves quite lucky and we look forward to supporting him to contribute to the development of the judiciary in Nigeria.”
Asked about his absence from the flag-off of his party’s presidential campaign in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, the Oyo governor said he did not attend because he was busy.
“I’ve been busy at home in Oyo State, campaigning for everybody. Uyo is not where I need to pull the votes together, it’s in Oyo. So I stayed in Oyo,” Makinde declared.