On Friday, Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, the Chief Justice of Nigeria, announced that the Supreme Court currently has ten justices on its roster.
He claims that with 10 justices sitting on the court, the Supreme Court has the fewest justices in history.
In her farewell speech, Chief Justice Musa Dattijo—who had reached the obligatory retirement age of 70—spoke on the importance of valuing her career.
The CJN did, however, reassure everyone that every effort is being made to promote a sizable number of Justices to the Court’s bench.
He declared, “We are now left with just 10 Justices on the Supreme Court bench, the lowest we have ever had in the contemporary history of the court. Justice Musa Dattijo left us today following the retirement of Justice Adamu Augie a few weeks ago.
Nonetheless, I can tell the litigant public with confidence that every effort is being made to bring on a significant number of Justices to increase our status and supplement the extraordinary work we have been putting into the Court’s operations.
Praiseing Dattijo, the CJN said he was an example of greatness that went beyond the legal field.
“I am so incredibly emotional and yet so incredibly excited to be here for this unique farewell session,” he declared.
“It’s not that I’ve never witnessed or led a valedictory session before; rather, it’s because we’re honoring a classic judicial icon with brilliant traits and captivating stature who could be categorised as an exemplary figure that goes beyond the legal profession in a single breath.
“We have gathered here today in honor of My Lord Justice Musa Dattijo Muhammad, who is the pinnacle of jurisprudential grace—an unstoppable lion in the temple of justice with an unquenchable voice.
We have gathered here to honor a distinguished legal iconoclast who has dedicated his considerable intellect to the progress of the legal field via years of impeccable and unquestionable rulings at various Nigerian court levels.
As that brave and distinguished Justice of the Supreme Court bench who unwaveringly maintained authority in the performance of his judicial duties, His Lordship has, by all accounts, made an incisive entry into the hallowed annals of the Nigerian judiciary.
In practically every area of administration, my Lord, Justice Dattijo, skillfully assisted and supported me as the second-in-command in the Supreme Court hierarchy. He embodies diligence, productivity, self-control, and moral rectitude.
In order to successfully navigate the frequently rough seas of court administration, he voluntarily supplied every assistance and motivation that a leader would always want to get from a deputy.
Therefore, the moment has come to stop serving as a judicial officer as this event marks his 70th birthday anniversary. Following this Court session, a new chapter in the life of my Lord will finally open, and His Lordship will start writing on it with a completely different group of persons that destiny had already brought together during the course of his second phase of existence.
Truly, he is a priceless gem and an icon deserving of praise and admiration. Regardless of whose ox is gored, His Lordship is one judge who can be forthright, even to the point of being irritating. He is also noted for not hiding his opinions and for never being hesitant to call a spade a spade.
“By virtue of his demeanor and behavior, His Lordship has been able to establish a monument of hope and optimism in the hearts and minds of his throngs of devotees and even future generations who will have the honor to view and experience his monumental contributions to the field of justice, which are already amply documented and prominently showcased on the shelves of numerous libraries worldwide.”