Justice Aloma Mukhtar Nominated First Female CJN

By Kunle Akogun


Nigeria is set to get its first female chief justice with President Goodluck Jonathan sending the name of Justice Aloma Mariam Mukhtar to the Senate for confirmation as the new Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN).

If confirmed by the Senate, Justice Mukhtar will succeed the CJN, Justice Dahiru Musdapher, who is due to retire on July 14 having attained the mandatory retirement age of 70 years.

Even though, Mukhtar, expected to be sworn in by July 16, will be the first woman to be appointed CJN, her elevation will not be the first time she will be making history on the bench.

Born in Kano State, Mariam was the first female Northerner to become a lawyer. She was the first woman to be appointed a justice of the Court of Appeal. She is also the first female justice of the Court of Appeal to make it to the Supreme Court.

Her appointment, after the Senate clearance, will make her the 13th head of the nation’s judiciary since the appointment of Chief Justice Adetokunbo Ademola, the first CJN, who held the post from 1958–1972.

Jonathan, in a letter dated July 3, and read on the floor of the Senate Wednesday by Senate President David Mark, sought the senators’ approval to make Mukhtar Musdapher’s successor.

In the letter, Jonathan told the senators that Mukhtar’s nomination was in conformity with Section 231 Sub-section (1) of the 1999 Constitution.


The letter read: “In conformity with Section 231 Sub-section (1) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended, which gives the president powers to appoint a Chief Justice of Nigeria, acting on the recommendation of the National Judicial Council and subject to confirmation of the appointment by the Senate, I have the honor to forward the nomination of Honourable Justice Aloma Mariam Mukhtar, CON, CFR, for confirmation as Chief Justice of Nigeria.

“It is my hope that this request will receive the usual expeditious attention of the distinguished Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”

Jonathan also forwarded to the Senate the names of Hon. Justices Kumai Bayang Akaahs (North-west zone) and Stanley Shenko Alagoa (South-south zone) for confirmation as justices of the Court of Appeal.

Jonathan, in a letter also read by Mark, said both “appointments have been necessitated by the impending retirement from service of Hon. Justice Dahiru Musdapher, Chief Justice of Nigeria, and Hon. Justice F. F. Tabai.”

The road to Mukhtar’s historic emergence began in April when Musdapher served the National Judicial Council (NJC) the mandatory three-month notice of retirement.

Mukthar was called to the Nigerian Bar on June 26, 1967. By September 24, 1987, she became the first female to be sworn into the Court of Appeal. When the Senate confirmed her appointment on May 10, 2005, she was also the first female justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria.

Born on November 20, 1944, she attended St. George’s Primary School, Zaria, St. Bartholomew’s School, Wusasa, Zaria, Rossholme School for Girls, East Brent, Somersets, England, Reading Technical College, Reading, Berkshire England, Gibson and Weldon College of Law and was called to the English Bar in Absentia in November, 1966.

She worked as a pupil state counsel, Ministry of Justice, Northern Nigeria in 1967; Office of the Legal Draftsman, Interim Common Services Agency, Magistrate Grade I, North Eastern State Government in 1971; Chief Registrar, Kano State Government Judiciary, 1973; Judge of the High Court of Kano State, 1977-1987; Justice of the Court of Appeal, 1987-1993; presiding justice of the Court of Appeal, 1993-2005; and justice of the Supreme Court from June 2005 to date. – This Day


Posted by on Jul 16 2012. Filed under Community News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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