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History, as Jonathan picks Mukhtar as first female Chief Justice


News » Politics
Abuja

THE Senate has asked the Executive arm to stop the ongoing prison decongestion programme on which N8.7 billion had been expended.

Meanwhile, President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday asked the chamber to confirm the appointment of Justice Aloma Mariam Mukhtar as first female Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN)

The position of the Senate on the prison decongestion programme followed a report of the Joint Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, Interior and Police Affairs led by Senator Umaru Dahiru which was raised by the chamber on the plight of persons awaiting trial in prisons.

Presenting the report yesterday during the plenary session of the chamber, the chairman said having consulted widely with stakeholders, the panel came to these resolutions among others: “That the ongoing prison decongestion programme under the Federal Ministry of Justice should be discontinued as it is unsustainable and should be completely taken over by the Legal Aid Council, which is more suitable for the task;

“That the states and the Federal Ministry of Justice should be proactive in reviewing case files before them for timely arraignment of suspects;

“That his Lordship, the Honourable Chief Justice of Nigeria should as a matter of urgency, set up Administration of Justice Commission pursuant to the Administration of Justice Act Cap A3,Vol1, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004, for the purpose of ensuring interagency cooperation and collaboration in the justice sector in setting up strategies to address the problem. Similarly, chief judges of states should also be advised to set up administrative committees in their respective states with the same aims and objectives.”

In a letter to the Senate which was read by the President of Senate, David Mark, on the floor, President  Jonathan explained that the appointment of Justice Mariam Mukhtar was in accordance with the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The letter read:  “In conformity with Section 321 sub-section (1) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended, which gives the President powers to appoint a Chief Justice of Nigeria, acting on the recommendation of the National Judicial Council and subject to confirmation of the appointment by the Senate, I have the honour to forward the nomination of Honourable Justice Aloma Mariam Mukhtar, CON, CFR for confirmation as Chief Justice of Nigeria.

“It is my hope that this request will receive the usual expeditious attention of the Distinguished Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Please accept, Senate President, the assurances of my highest consideration.’’

The president also asked for the confirmation of the appointment of two Justices of the Supreme Court  “in conformity with Section 231, Sub-section (2) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended, which gives the President powers to appoint a Justice of the Supreme Court acting on the recommendation of the National Judicial Council and subject to confirmation of the appointment by the Senate. I have the honour to forward the under-mentioned names for confirmation as Justices of the Supreme Court of Nigeria.”

The new Chief Justice-designate, Aloma Mariam Mukhtar was born on November 20, 1944. She attended St. George Primary School, Zaria and St. Bartholomew’s School, Wusasa, Zaria.

In the late 1950s she went to Rossholme School for Girls, East Brent, Somerset, England, Reading Technical College, Reading, Berkshire, England, Gibson and Weldon College of Law.

She was called to the English Bar in November 1966 and was called to the Nigerian Bar a year later in July 1967.

From 1967, she was a trainee State Counsel, Ministry of Justice, Northern Nigeria; Magistrate Grade I, North Eastern State Government, 1971; Chief Registrar, Kano State Government Judiciary, 1973.

For nearly 10 years, (1977-1987) she was Judge of the High Court of Kano State; a Justice of the Court of Appeal between 1987-1993 and Presiding Justice of the Court of Appeal, 1993-2005.

A life member of the International Association of Women Lawyers, Justice Mukhtar has been a Justice of the Supreme Court (JSC) since 2005.

Article credit: Guardian Newspaper

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Updated 7 Years ago
 

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