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BREAKING: CJN allegedly nominates daughter as judge six months after appointing son as high court judge

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The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, is embroiled in allegations of nepotism and cronyism as reports emerge that he has nominated his daughter, Justice Victoria Oluwakemi, for a judicial position in the Federal Capital Territory High Court in Abuja.

This comes after the CJN was previously accused of securing appointments for his son, Ariwoola Olukayode Jnr, and other relatives within the judiciary.

Documents obtained by Peoples Gazette, along with information from judiciary sources, reveal the nomination of Justice Victoria Oluwakemi.

The CJN had earlier faced criticism for securing a judgeship for his son, Ariwoola Olukayode Jnr, in the Federal High Court.

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The reported pattern of appointments within the CJN’s family includes his younger brother, Adebayo Ariwoola, who serves as the auditor of the National Judicial Council, and his nephew, Lateef Ganiyu, who recently gained promotion to the Court of Appeal.

Observers note that several other relatives hold various positions across the judiciary bureaucracy, raising concerns about favouritism.

The CJN’s nomination of his daughter reportedly followed a letter from the Chief Judge of the FCT High Court, Husseini Baba-Yusuf, informing him of 12 available positions in the court.

In response to the letter dated January 18, 2024, Baba-Yusuf requested nominations from the CJN, the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Lateef Fagbemi, and the President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Yakubu Chonoko Maikyau.

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The states mentioned for nominations were Bauchi, Bayelsa, Enugu, Imo, Kogi, Kwara, Lagos, Oyo, Plateau, Rivers, Taraba, and Zamfara.

However, discrepancies were noted as Oyo already had two judges in the FCT High Court, and the state was given an additional slot to accommodate the CJN’s daughter.

Critics argue that the nomination raises questions about judicial independence and fair representation as the CJN continues to face accusations of leveraging his position to advance the careers of his relatives.

The reported nomination of a junior magistrate, Justice Victoria Oluwakemi, who has limited experience, further intensifies concerns among judiciary workers and observers.

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