Justice Mariam Aloma Mukhtar
Justice Mariam Aloma Mukhtar took a bow from her job at the zenith of the Nigerian Judiciary on Thursday, 20th November after reaching the mandatory retirement age of 70 years. The former CJN who mounted the saddle after the announcement of her appointment as the 13th CJN, made history as the first female CJN of Nigeria.
Mukhtar’s historic appointment was not unusual as she has been a star of many firsts. She is the first female lawyer from Northern Nigeria, the first female to be appointed a judge in the Kano State Judiciary, first female judge of the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court, finally she crowned it with being the first female to hold the helms at the top of the nations judiciary.
Mukthar’s near 28 months era as CJN would be remembered for her efforts to sanitize the bench and saw to the exit of a good number of judges, suspension of one and the introduction of performance evaluation for judges. Even lawyers were not spared as the disciplinary committee of the bar was kicked into action against many erring lawyers including Chief Femi Aribisala who was stripped of his SANship.
Despite the gains made by Mukthar in stamping out the embarrassing rot and malfeasance in the judiciary, a low point of her era was the non-resolution of the case of the former Court of Appeal President Justice Ayo Salami who was suspended as a result of the fight between him and former CJN Justice Kastina-Alu.
- Justice Mahmud Mohammed
Meanwhile Justice Mahmud Mohammed takes charge as the new CJN following the approval of his appointment by the Senate on Tuesday 18th November, 2014. Justice Mohammed who promised to tackle the issue of conflicting judgment during his tenure is a 1970 LL. B graduate of ABU zaria, and was called to the Nigeria bar in 1971. He was appointed to the Supreme Court in 2005 and had been the Chief Judge of Taraba State and a Presiding Judge of a Division of the Court of Appeal. He was born on 10th November 1946 and hails from Jalingo in Taraba State.