In the history of Nigeria, the position of Chief Justice is often held by men. This has rendered the females to be exiguous on this aspect. Nonetheless, women are not completely left out in occupying the position of the chief justice of the country. There is a woman who made history by becoming the first female chief justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria. This article will look at the biography of this prominent woman and also how she attained this feat.
Normally, the Chief Justice of Nigeria is the head of the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court of Nigeria (SCN), is the highest court in Nigeria that houses other judicial courts in the country. The Supreme Court is located in the Central District, Abuja, in what is known as the Three Arms Zone, so called due to the proximity of the offices of the Presidential Complex, the National Assembly, and the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court has few number of Justices of which the Chief Justice is the head. It is composed of the Chief Justice of Nigeria and such number of justices which does not exceed 21. These judges are appointed by the President on the recommendation of the National Judicial Council, (NJC).
Moreso, the Chief Justice of Nigeria or CJN is the head of the Nigerian Supreme Court and also the judicial arm of the government of the country. This Justice presides over the country’s Supreme Court and the National Judicial Council. The first female Chief Justice of Nigeria was also a leader and the Supreme Court, as at during her tenure. There is much to discover about who was this women. We will look more extensively on the profile of the first female Chief Justice of Nigeria in the following writing.
Who is the First Female Chief Justice of Nigeria?
This has been the question that some people inquire about. The reason for their inquisitiveness is because of the way the position of the Chief Justice of Nigeria is always occupied by males. So who was this lucky woman who break into the over a century record?
The name of the woman who made history in the country by becoming the first female Chief Justice of the Supreme Court is Justice Aloma Mariam Mukhtar GCON. She was holding the position of the Chief Justice of Nigeria since July 2012 until she eventually resigned in December 2014. The Adamawa born law professional, Aloma Mariam Mukhtar was born on December the 20th, 1944. She became an English barrister in 1966 and Nigerian barrister in 1967. More about how she came this far will be highlighted in the write-up below.
Biography of the First Female Chief Justice of Nigeria, Mariam Mukhtar
Justice Aloma Mariam Mukhtar was born on the 20th day of December in the year 1944. She is a Nigerian jurist and former Chief Justice of Nigeria from July 2012 to December 2014. Her emergence as the Chief Justice of Nigeria in 2012 was a history, as she became the first female Chief Justice in the country.
On how the Justice made this achievement, She was first called to the English Bar in December, 1966 and subsequently to the Nigerian Bar in 1967. On 16 July 2012, the then President Goodluck Jonathan swore in Aloma Mariam Mukhtar as the 13th indigenous Chief Justice of Nigeria. She was also conferred the Nigerian National Honour of the Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger (GCON).
Justice Mukhtar’s background could be traced to her state of origin, which is Adamawa. On her educational background, she attended Saint. George’s Primary School, Zaria, St. Bartholomew’s School, Wusasa, Zaria, Rossholme School for Girls, East Brent, Somerset, England. The Justice also had an education in Reading Technical College, Reading, Berkshire, England, and Gibson and Weldon College of Law, England.
After obtaining a formal education in these renown institutions, she was later called to the English Bar in absentia in December, 1966. Initially, Aloma wanted to become a nurse, radiographer, or librarian. However, her entry to the legal profession is certainly rewarding as she earned this feat. The Justice also revealed that many people called her stubborn, but she was sure that being qualified in law would be a good choice for her gender.
The career of the first female Chief Justice of Nigeria began in 1967. Then she was as Pupil State Counsel, Ministry of Justice, Northern Nigeria and sequentially rose through the ranks: Office of the Legal Draftsman, Interim; Common Services Agency, Magistrate; Grade I, North Eastern State Government, 1971; Chief Registrar, Kano State Government Judiciary, 1973; Judge of the High Court of Kano State , 1977—1987; Justice of the Court of Appeal of Nigeria, Ibadan division, 1987—1993; Justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria , 2005—2012; Justice of the Supreme Court of The Gambia 2011-2012; she later earned the rank as the Chief Justice of Nigeria, 2012—2014.
Mariam Mukhtar being the first female Chief Justice of Nigeria, you can rule out the fact that she is limited of awards and honors. The Justice, during the course of her career has received several awards. The most significant of the long list of awards includes receiving the Nigerian national honor of Commander of the Order of Niger in 2006. She earlier received a Gold Merit Award for her contribution in the development of law in Kano state in 1993.
Another significant honor to Justice Aloma Mariam Mukhtar was by being inducted into the Nigerian Hall of Fame in 2005. These are just a few to mention, as there are many other awards and recognition of the Nigerian first female Chief Justice.
Justice Aloma Mariam Mukhtar is the first female Chief Justice of the Nigerian Supreme Court. Inasmuch as she has achieved this feat, there are other ranks which she had before becaming the first female. During the course of Mukhtar’s career, she has been: the first female lawyer from Northern Nigeria, first female judge of the High Court in Kano State judiciary, the first female justice of the Court of Appeal of Nigeria, the first female justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria (although certain sources have erroneously given the honor to Roseline Ukeje) and the first female Chief Justice of Nigeria which was our major in this write-up. This article covered the whole background information about the prolific first Nigerian female Chief Justice.