By Kingsley Okoye, Abuja.
The Senate has confirmed the nomination of Justice Olukayode Ariwoola as the substantive Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN).
The confirmation followed his screening at the plenary on Wednesday.
Ariwoola, while responding to the senators’ questions before his confirmation, said that the major challenge facing the judiciary was inadequate funding of its operations.
He underscores the need for adequate funding of the judiciary, saying that judges should not been seen as begging.
He urged the Senate to always give expeditious approval to budgets of the judiciary to enable it to discharge its duties.
On allegations that some judges wrote a petition against the immediate-past CJN, Ariwoola said that there was no petition of such nature.
He said that what leaked to the media was a letter of complaints, written by 14 justices on issues relating to the workings of the judiciary and welfare of judicial officers.
“The 14 of us wrote and delivered by hand the letter to our brother, the past CJN. How it got to the newspapers, we do not know, we had no problems with our number one.
“There was no petition against the CJN; we were not protesting, we only put our complaints on paper to our brother,” he said.
Ariwoola, however, said that it was his utmost desire to introduce technology into the operations of the nation’s judicial system.
He also said that a machinery had been put in place to amend the rules and procedures of courts to ensure improved operations of their processes.
He stressed that there was need to also appoint more judges to facilitate speedy dispensation of cases, while also advocating that final judgements on some cases should be made to end at the appeal courts.
Ariwoola, however, noted that some of these issues were constitutional matters, which required amendments of the constitution.
He called on the National Assembly to facilitate efforts to amend the laws on such matters.
On issues relating to appointment of judges, Ariwoola explained that the constitution was clear on the mode of appointment.
He said that the National Judicial Council (NJC) played a key role in the process through recommendation of qualified and deserving officers for appointment.