Barring last minute changes. Justice Ariwoola, the most Senior Supreme Court Justice, will be sworn-in as Ag CJN following the unexpected resignation of Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad, CFR.
Hon. Justice Olukayode Tajudeen Ariwoola, JSC is a native of Iseyin Local Government Area of Oyo State.
Lord Ariwoola started his educational career in his home town Iseyin at the Local Authority Demonstration School, Oluwole in Iseyin Local government of Oyo State between 1959 and 1967. He was in the Muslim Modern School in the same town between 1968 and 1969 before proceeding to Ansar-Ud-Deen High School, Saki in Oyo North of Oyo State.
His Lordship studied law at the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University), Ile Ife and bagged his bachelor of laws degree with honors in July, 1980. Olu Ariwoola was called to the Nigeria bar in July 1981 and got enrolled at the Supreme Court of Nigeria as a Solicitor and Advocate soon thereafter.
His Lordship was a State Counsel on National Youth Service (NYSC) at the Ministry of Justice, Akure, Ondo State and later as Legal Officer in the Ministry of Justice of his home state Oyo State until 1988 when he voluntarily left the official bar of the State Civil Service for private practice. His Lordship worked as Counsel in-Chambers of Chief Ladosu Ladapo, SAN between October, 1988 and July 1989 when he established Olukayode Ariwoola & Co – a firm of legal Practitioners and Consultants in Oyo town in August 1989.
His Lordship must have something to do, in a way, with figure 2 and the month of November. While His Lordship was born on 22 August, 1954; he was sworn in as a Judge of the Oyo State High Court on 2nd November, 1992, as a Justice of the Court of Appeal (JCA) on 22nd November, 2005 and again was sworn in as Justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria (JSC) on 22nd November, 2011.
Justice Ariwoola served as Chairman, Board of Directors, Phonex Motors Ltd – one of Oodua Investment conglomerate between 1988 and 1992. Chairman, Armed Robbery Tribunal, Oyo State between May 1993 and September, 1996 when he was posted out of the headquarters, Ibadan to Saki High Court. His Lordship served on the Election Tribunals in Zamfara and Enugu States in 1999. On Election Appeal Courts in Port-Harcourt, Enugu, Benin, Yola and Ilorin at various times.
Before his elevation to the Supreme Court, his lordship served as Justice of Court of Appeal in Kaduna, Enugu and Lagos Divisions. He is also a fellow of International Dispute Resolution Institute (FIDRI) having been inducted in Dubai, U.A.E in 2014.
His Lordship has attended many International and National conferences and workshops in France, Atlanta Georgia, UK and Dubai, UAE.
Lord Ariwoola is happily married with children and he loves reading, listening to good music, photography and shopping.
He has also faced his fair share of criticisms in the past:
Following petitions filed against him, His Lordship was investigated prior to his elevation to the Supreme Court. As a member of the Court of Appeal panel (others are Justices Salami, Ogunbiyi, Nweze, Jauro) that sacked Olusegun Oni as Ekiti State Governor in 2010, Ariwoola was expectedly caught in the face-off between the Goodluck Jonathan-led Government and then Appeal Court President, Isa Ayo Salami. He was exonerated following a lack of evidence that he was compromised.
He chaired the Supreme Court panel that recently upheld the use of hijab in Lagos public Primary & Secondary Schools.
Ariwoola was also a member of separate Supreme Court panels that sacked Emeka Ihedioha and David Lyon from Imo and Bayelsa States respectively.