Monday, 16 July 2012

Nigeria to get its first female Chief Justice

Nigeria will get its first female Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) on 16 July when Justice Mariam Aloma Mukhtar is sworn in by President Goodluck Jonathan. This follows the retirement of the current CJN, Justice Dahiru Musdapher who reached the mandatory retirement age of 70 and Jonathan's nomination of Mukhtar's appointment which has been sent for Senate confirmation. The latter gave Justice Mukhtar the all clear on Wednesday 11 July following a brief screening session. Mukhtar comes from Kano State, was Northern Nigeria's first female legal practitioner and, in an illustrious career in the bar and bench, earned a formidable reputation as a fearless, impartial and independent arbiter.

She will perhaps be mainly remembered for being only one of three Justices who gave a dissenting judgment in the 2007 presidential election petition case involving President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua and Gen Muhammadu Buhari. In her judgment she ruled that the election, which purportedly declared President Yar'Adua as the winner, was significantly flawed and should be cancelled. She is expected to serve as CJN until July 2014 when she will also reach the mandatory retirement age.

For more news and expert analysis about Nigeria, please see Nigeria Focus and Nigeria Politics & Security.

© 2012 Menas Associates

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