Senate confirms Aloma Mukhtar, Nigeria’s first female Chief Justice
History was made in Abuja on Wednesday as the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria screened and confirmed the nomination of Justice Aloma Mariam Mukthar as Nigeria’s first female Chief Justice of Nigeria, as proposed by President Goodluck Jonathan.
The Kano born jurist, although Nigeria’s first female Chief Justice, is not new to pioneering as she was the first woman to be appointed Judge at the court of appeal (in September, 1987).
Mrs. 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.
Before ascending to her new role, she was one of only three female justices of the apex court, the others being Olufunlola Adekeye and Mary Odili (wife of indicted former governor of Rivers State, Peter Odili).
Mrs. Mukhtar is best remembered for being one of the three judges who nullified the 2007 presidential elections that brought in late President Umaru Yar’Adua. Along with George Oguntade and Walter Onnoghen, Mrs. Mukhtar 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.