Nigeria to get first female Chief Justice

Channels Television  
Updated July 5, 2012

President Goodluck Jonathan has nominated Justice Aloma Mukthar as the next Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), making her the first female CJN in the nation’s history.

The president forwarded the nomination of Justice Mukthar to the Senate for confirmation on Wednesday in conformity with Section 123 (1) of the 1999 constitution as amended.

If approved by the Senate, Justice Mukthar will replace Chief Justice Dahiru Musdapher, who is due to retire on July 13, 2012 having reached the mandatory retirement age of 70.

The new CJN if approved, will become the first female head of the Nigeria’s judiciary.

Born in Kano state in 1944, the jurist was also the first woman to be appointed Judge at the Court of Appeal in September, 1987.

Justice Mukhtar, who was called to the Nigerian bar in 1967, a year after she was called to the English bar, was also the first female to be appointed Justice of the Supreme Court, in 2005.

She is at present, one of only three female justices of the apex court, the others being Olufunlola Adekeye and Mary Odili.

The nominated CJN was one of the three judges-with a minority vote- sought to nullify the 2007 presidential elections that brought in late President Umaru Yar’Adua, when they ruled that the several violations of the electoral law particularly non serialization of ballot papers used for the Presidential election, was enough to disqualify the election.

Their views were however in the minority as the majority of four Supreme Court Justices ruled that the non-compliance, though existed, were not enough to invalidate the elections.

President Jonathan also forwarded the names of Justices Kumai Akaahs and Stanley Alagoa for confirmation as Justices of the Supreme Court.