The Background of Kayode Ariwoola, The In-coming Chief Justice of Nigeria
Early on Monday morning, the news broke that the former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Tanko Muhammed had resigned his position on the ground of health issues that some claimed, took him to the United Arab Emirate recently.
The next person in his stead is the Iseyin-born Justice Kayode Ariwoola. The personality of the in-coming CJN is enviable as many of his childhood friends and youths in the ancient town use him as a good example for their children to look up to in life because of his humility and sense of community development.
The Supreme Court, since the amalgamation of the Northern and Southern Protectorates of Nigeria in 1914 when the pioneer Chief Justice was Sir Edwin Speed, maintained its revered and enviable tradition of succession based on seniority, so like it has been since then till the outgoing CJN, Justice Muhammed decided to resign to pave way for Kayode Ariwoola.
Born to the family of Late Alhaji Ariwoola, popularly known then as ‘Mako-Allah’, the in-coming CJN had his humble background, starting from primary school education at L.A Demonstration School, Oluwole in Iseyin, after which he proceeded to Muslim Secondary Modern School, Oke-Oremoje, Iseyin, Ansar-U-Deen High School, Saki, after which he went to the prestigious University of Ife to study law and graduated in 1980.
Ariwoola went to the Law School in Lagos and was called to the Bar in 1981. he got appointed as a High Court Judge in 1992 and became the Justice of the Court of Appeal in November, 2005 before eventually being appointed to the Bench of the Supreme Court on November 22nd, 2011.
Until his appointment as a member of the Supreme Court’s Bench in 2011, Olukayode was a member of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), International Bar Association and the Nigerian Body of Benchers.
One particular attribute that has been noted about the in-coming CJN in his hometown is the love he has for his childhood friends as people say he never ditched his old friends despite his rise to legal stardom.
He is a practicing Muslim, non-partisan and married with children. Justice Olukayode Ariwoola’s love for Amala, the local staple was said to be legendary and some of his old friends include Alhaji Tunde Busari, a retired Permanent Secretary in the service of Oyo State, Lady Boyin Peller, the wife of the late world-acclaimed magician, Prof. Moshood Abiola Peller, Mr Wole Oladokun, another retired Permanent Secretary of Oyo State and Barrister Folorunso.