Chief Yomi Alliyu, SAN, one of the counsels for embattled Yoruba Nation agitator, Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Igboho, has revealed what the first task of the new acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, should be.
Alliyu made this known in a congratulatory statement made available to Premium Politics on Monday hours after the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), swore in Ariwoola as the acting CJN.
This publication reported that the ceremony was held in the council chambers following the resignation of Justice Tanko Muhammad as the highest judicial officer in the nation.
Igboho’s lawyer believes that Ariwoola’s first task in office should be to “bring experienced private practice practitioners to the Supreme Court bench.”
He said, “For the second time in half a decade, we have Justices from the private Bar becoming Chief Justices of Nigeria. The last been My Lord Justice Onnoghen.
“For many years from the time of My Lord Justice Mariam Mukhtar, Justice Kayode Ariwoola, popularly called “Ariwoooo” by the Gov of Ondo State, Arakunrin Akeredolu, has been the powerhouse 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 overpopulating 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 8 to 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 5 justices manning each of the divisions. This will necessitate the appointment of justices and conversion of some offices which are utterly under-utilised into courts if new courts cannot be built on the large expanse of land left undeveloped for years at the Court.
“I wish my Lord a successful tenure free from rancour and blackmail.”