Senate Confirms Justice Aloma Muktar As CJN: First Female To Be Named

Justice Aloma Muktar Nigerian Senate has on Wednesday confirmed Justice Aloma Muktar as the new Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN. She becomes the first female CJN.

She is to replace outgoing Justice Dahiru Musdapher, who is leaving office on July 15, having reached the mandatory age of 70.

President Goodluck Jonathan forwarded the nomination of Muktar to the Senate for confirmation last Wednesday in conformity with the 1999 Constitution.

Justice Mukhtar has always scored firsts.

She is the first female judge to be appointed to the Supreme Court on June 8, 2005. After her, it took four years for the second lady, Justice Olufunlola Oyelola Adekeye, to get the attention of the National Judicial Council (NJC), which has the responsibility of recommending qualified judicial officers for the position.

She was called to the Nigerian Bar in 1967, a year after she was called to the English Bar. She is also the first female lawyer in the Northern part of the country.

Legal practitioners and colleagues describe her as independent-minded, who is well suited to bring about the needed reforms in a judiciary, which has suffered moral and integrity challenges.

Mukhtar will be major boost for interests campaigning for women to occupy sensitive positions.

She was one of the justices who gave a dissenting judgment that is widely acclaimed in legal circles and the academics in the Yar’Adua/Buhari election result dispute in 2007.

In that judgment, the incoming CJN alongside Justices George Oguntade, (now retired) and Walter Onnoghen, held that there was substantial non-compliance with the Electoral Act 2006, which vitiated the election of the late President.

An erudite judge, full of passion, her judgments have also been commended by all and her views on the matter are respected.

Her profile on the website of the Supreme Court also reads, “She was called to the English Bar in 1966 and later called to the Nigerian Bar in June 1967.

A thorough Legal Professional, Hon. Justice A.M Muktar had served as: Pupil State Counsel, Ministry of Justice, Northern Nigeria (1967) Draftsman, Office of the Legal Draftsman, Interim Common Service Agency Magistrate Grade I, North Eastern Government (1969 – 1973); Chief Registrar, Kano State Government Judiciary (1973 – 1977) Judge – High Court of Kano State (1977) Justice – Court of Appeal (1987) Presiding Justice – Court of Appeal (1993 – 2005).

A Life Member of the International Association of Women Lawyers, Hon. Justice Aloma Mariam Muktar has been a Justice of the Supreme Court (JSC) since 2005.”

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