Justice Ngwuta’s Death Draws Ariwoola Close to CJN Position
Justice Olukayode Ariwoola is the most likely to be Nigeria’s next Chief Justice of Nigeria, after the death of Justice Sylvester Nwali Ngwuta trimmed likely successors to the seat significantly.
Late Justice Ngwuta died in the early hours of Sunday after a brief illness, few weeks to his retirement from the bench and as Justice of the apex court.
He would have attained the mandatory retirement age of 70 on March 30, 2021.
With about three weeks to his retirement from the Supreme Court, the death of Justice Sylvester Nwali Ngwuta might trigger some changes in the apex court.
The current CJN was appointed into the position in 2019 and is due for retirement in 2023, and the next in line to be CJN, Justice Bode Rhodes-Vivour, is due for retirement later this month, according to sources.
He was born on March 22, 1951 and will attain the mandatory retirement age of 70 later this month.
After Justice Rhodes-Vivour would have been late Justice Ngwuta, and with his demise, Justice Mary Ukaego Odili is now the second in line to succeed the current CJN, safe foe the fact that she is billed to also retire from the apex court on May 12, 2022.
Justice Odili was appointed Associate Justice of the Supreme Court and office office on June 23, 2011.
Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, who until now was the fifth in the hierarchy, was born on August 22, 1958, and still has about six years to go as justice of the apex court.
He was formerly a Justice of the Court of Appeal and on November 22, 2011, he was appointed to the bench of the Supreme Court as Justice.
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