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Byline: Ise-Oluwa Ige
IN SPITE of the controversy over his legal powers, the out-going Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Idris Legbo Kutigi, yesterday, in Abuja, swore in Justice Aloysius Iyorgyer Katsina-Alu as the 11th Chief Justice of Nigeria.
Not a few senior lawyers, especially members of the Inner Bar, had strongly argued that the laws of the nation neither allowed, recognised nor envisaged an incumbent Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, swearing-in his successor because, by doing that, it would mean that the nation would have two substantive Chief Justices at the same time.
They had argued that such situation would be absurd and should be avoided.
It was also their contention that since 1958 when the first indigenous Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice (Sir) Adetokunbo Ademola, was sworn into office till the time of Justice Kutigi, who is the 10th Chief Justice, the Oath of Office was administered on each one of them by the Head of the Federal Government, the appointment being a political one.
They had also argued that even if there was no clear-cut constitutional provision stopping an incumbent CJN from swearing in his successor, the practice since 1958 was …