A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Chief Yomi Aliyyu, has hailed the appointment of Justice Olukayode Ariwoola as the acting Chief Justice of Nigeria following the resignation of Justice Tanko Muhammed.
Aliyyu said in a statement on Monday that Ariwoola’s appointment was the second time in five years that justices from private bars became the CJN.
The lawyer urged the new CJN to ensure quick dispensation of justice and to end the overpopulation at the apex court with justices picked from magistrate courts to the Supreme Court which he said led to the delivery of pro-establishment judgments.
Aliyyu said, “For the second time in half a decade, we have justices from the private bars becoming chief justices of Nigeria. The last was My Lord Justice Onnoghen.
For many years from the time of My Lord Justice Mariam Mukhtar, Justice Kayode Ariwoola, popularly called “Ariwoooo” by the Governor of Ondo State, Arakunrin Rotimi Akeredolu, has been the power house of the Supreme Court in terms of following the principle of stare decisis to letter and sound principles of law for the good of the society.
“He led the Supreme Court; and in fact, wrote the leading judgment in dismantling the hitherto finality of the judgement of the National Industrial Court surreptitiously put in the constitution by the erstwhile powerful president of that court.
“My Lord Justice Ariwoola is expected to bring to an end overpopulation of the Supreme Court with judges who never had appellate practice but rather rose from magistrate courts thereby leading to public service judgments.
“The first task before him is to bring experienced private practice practitioners to the Supreme Court bench to allow for cross fertilisation of ideas and anti-establishment judgments as done in the time of Justices Elias, Eso, Oputa and Nnamani of the golden age of the Supreme Court!
“Also, from his years of practice in both the public and private bars, my Lord is expected to look closely at the operations of the apex court with a view to bringing it in tandem with the modern day apex court as obtainable in other climes.
“There is no reason why cases should spend close to eight or 15 years before being heard. I have a land matter which briefs have been filed since 2008 still pending at the Supreme Court! In that wise, the rules of the court must change! Briefs should be enough to decide appeals. After all, 95 per cent of the appeals are argued within five minutes of identifying the briefs by simply saying, “I adopt and rely on my brief!
“Cases going to Supreme Court can also be limited to those without concurrent findings by the High Court and Court of Appeal.
“Justices of the courts could also be divided into divisions like commercial, land, constitutional, labour, criminal and human rights with five justices manning each of the divisions. This will necessitate appointment of justices and conversion of some offices which are utterly underutilised into courts if new courts cannot be built on the large expanse of land left undeveloped for years at the court.”
Meanwhile, the Aseyin of Iseyin, Oba Abdul-Ganiy Adekunle, has expressed profound joy over the appointment of Ariwoola, who is one of his subjects.
The monarch said the achievement would go into the history of the ancient town that one of its sons had made a remarkable accomplishment in the legal and judiciary system during his reign as the Aseyin of Iseyin.
The monarch said the news had elicited joy in the town and jubilation greeted the announcement in the town, which is one of the major towns in Oyo State.
The Iseyin Development Union, in a statement by its National President, Alhaji Bayo Raji, also said the people of the town home and abroad were happy about the appointment.