First female Chief Justice of Nigeria
Justice Mariam Aloma Mukhtar is poised to become the deputy chairman of the National Judicial Council, NJC, and chief justice of Nigeria.
Justice Mukhtar was born on November 20, 1944. She attended Gibson and Weldon College of Law, London, and was called to the English Bar in November 1966. She was called to the Nigerian Bar in July 1967.
Regarded as an independent-minded jurist, Mukhtar was one of the justices who gave a dissenting judgement that is widely acclaimed in legal circles and the academia in the Yar'Adua/Buhari election result dispute in 2007. While other justices dismissed the Buhari appeal and upheld the election of Yar'Adua and Jonathan in 2007, the trio of justices George Oguntade, Walter Onnoghen and Mukhtar delivered dissenting judgments, insisting that there was substantial non-compliance with the Electoral Act 2006 which vitiated the election.
Justice Mukhtar is a woman of many firsts: first female lawyer from the north, first female to be elevated to the Court of Appeal where she was a presiding justice between 1993 and 2005; and, from May 10, 2005, when the Senate confirmed her appointment to the apex court, she became the first woman to sit as a justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria.