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Byline: Dapo Akinrefon
LEGAL luminaries have expressed mixed reactions over remarks by the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Michael Aondoakaa, SAN, who stated that the out-going Chief Justice of the Federation has the legal right to administer oath to the in-coming CJN.
For Professor Itse Sagay, who argued that for the sake of peace and tranquility, the out-going Chief Justice of the country should swear-in a new CJN, explained that "the constitution simple talks of the oath of office without specifying who should administer the oath. There is nothing specific about who does it. But the Oath Act, specifically mentioned two people in that regard; that is the President or the incumbent Chief Justice of Nigeria."
SWEARING-IN--Outgoing Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Idris Kutigi congratulating incoming Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Aloysius Katsina-Alu after the swearing-in ceremony of new CJN and President, Court of Appeal in Abuja, yesterday. Photo by Gbemiga Olamikan.
"So, technically, the Chief Justice of Nigeria can administer the oath, but the only problem that comes to mind is the issue of when the current Chief Justice of Nigeria administer the oath, whether there will not be two Chief Justices. That's a technical question, but one can say well one has been administered first for the sake of peace, maybe that is the way round that problem. Most of the experienced people who have been asked this question seem to think that the Chief Justice of Nigeria can administer the oath. People like Justice Kayode Eso and the former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Alpha Belgore have expressed …