Legal Luminary Profile: Hon. Justice Aloma Mukhtar CON, CFR, FNIALS, GCON


Honourable Justice Aloma Mariam Mukhtar CON, CFR, FNIALS, GCON a native of Adamawa State was born in Lagos on November 20, 1944 to Mr. Muktari Mukhtar and Mrs Hadiza Mukhtar.

She had her primary school education in Zaria, and obtained her GCE ‘O’ Levels at Rossholme School for Girls in East Brent, Somerset England in 1962. She went on to Gibson & Welder Law School where she graduated in 1966 and was called to the English Bar, Middle Temple the same year, and to the Nigeria Bar in 1967.

Honourable Justice Aloma Mukhtar joined the Northern Nigeria Ministry of Justice as a Pupil State Counsel and later became Magistrate Grade 1, between 1969 and 1973. She returned to Kano State in 1973 to assume duties as Chief Registrar of the State Judiciary and in 1977, was appointed a Judge of the High Court of Kano State.

Justice Aloma Mukhtar was nominated as Justice of the Court of Appeal of Nigeria in 1987, where she spent 17 years, twelve of which she served as President. She was later elevated to the Supreme Court of Nigeria in June 2005, and reached the apogee of the legal profession when she was appointed to the exalted position of Chief Justice of Nigeria [CJN] in July 2012, a position she held for about two years.

Her speech when she appeared before the Senate screening, gave a clear direction of her tenure as CJN, she said “Corruption is in every system of our society and I cannot pretend that it is not in the Judiciary. I intend to lead by example and to hope and pray that others will follow. I will encourage internal cleansing based on petition and as much as possible ensure that bad eggs are removed, so that the confidence reposed in the judiciary will be restored once again” . Indeed, this she pursued vigorously until her retirement in 2014 after a meritorious career spanning nearly five decades.

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Described as an “independent, transparent, courageous, fearless yet humble and a fair-minded Jurist” by her colleagues and legal practitioners alike. During her distinguished career, Honourable Justice Aloma Mukhtar scored quite a number of significant ‘Firsts’. In June 1967, she became the first female lawyer in Northern Nigeria [covering 19 States], and subsequently its pioneer female Magistrate in the Northern region. She was the first female Chief Registrar of the Kano State Judiciary, the first female Judge of the High Court in Kano State, and the first woman jurist to be appointed to the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Nigeria. In July 2012, she became the first female Chief Justice of Nigeria [CJN].

Since leaving office as CJN, she has joined Nigeria’s highest advisory body, the National Council of State as its first female permanent member.

A Life Bencher; Fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies and Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, HonourableJustice Aloma Mukhtar has been recognized nationally and internationally for her value-added contributions to the growth and development of the judiciary. She has the rare distinction of being the recipient of three of the highest Nigerian National Honours, namely: Commander of the Order of the Niger [CON], Commander of the Federal Republic [CFR] and Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger [GCON].

Among others, she has also been honoured by the International Federation of Women Lawyers [FIDA], and with the Life-Membership of the International Association of Women Judges; Gold Merit award of the Kano State Government, Vice President, International Association Of Women Judges, Foundation President, Nigerian Association of Women Judges; Induction into The Nigerian Women Hall of Fame; and Honorary Doctor of Letters from University of Abuja.

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