Leaked memo: New CJN denies rift among justices


The newly confirmed Chief Justice of Nigeria, (CJN), Justice Olukayode Ariwoola on Wednesday denied any rift among the Supreme Court justices.

He reacted to the leaked memo suggesting that Supreme Court justices were at each other’s jugular when he appeared before Senators at the red Chamber for his confirmation to take over from the former CJN, Mohammed Tanko who had resigned over health issues.

Ariwoola in his response to questions by Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege, Senate Committee Chairman on Judiciary and Legal Matters, Michael Bamidele Opeyemi and other Senators expressed concern that petitions were allegedly written against the erstwhile Chief Justice of Nigeria, Mohammed Tanko by 15 other Supreme Court justices without recourse to the procedure.


He clarified that Supreme Court Justices didn’t write petitions to or against Justice Mohammed Tanko as CJN then but an internal memo on how to address challenges being faced by them as regards welfare and an unconducive working environment.

“Justices of the Supreme Court didn’t write petition to or against Justice Mohammed Tanko as CJN few months back but memo where issues relating to welfare of each of the Justices and unconducive working environment of Justices at the Supreme Court generally were raised.

“We the Justices were embarrassed when we read the content of our memo in the papers.

“It was never intended to be for public consumption since the motive behind the memo was not to fight or bring down anybody.


“When the handwritten memo was signed by all the Justices, we didn’t allow anybody to see it, making its leakage to the media to be like a miracle to us”, he said.

He, however, said most of the issues raised in the memo are still not attended to, due to paucity of funds and poor funding of the Supreme Court in particular and Judiciary generally.

According to him, Justices who were appointed in 2020 have not had official accommodation, making them come to the office from Satellite towns within the FCT.

After the screening by the Committee of the whole, he was confirmed by the plenary which was presided by the Senate President, Dr Ahmad Ibrahim Lawan.

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