#WomensHistoryMonth: Get to know Aloma Mariam Mukhtar: The first female Chief Justice of Nigeria

Aloma Mariam Mukhtar: The first female Chief Justice of Nigeria

A woman of many firsts!

It’s women’s history month and in honour of the significant contributions women have made in the world we take a trip down memory lane in salute of one of Nigeria’s power women who boldly reshaped history and paved way for others.

Unlike many others who had their eyes firmly set on the right path from start, Aloma Mariam Mukhtar hadn’t always fancied Law, rather she nursed dreams of becoming a nurse, radiographer, or perhaps even a librarian, but somehow, Law as a profession called and sure enough, she didn’t look back. In fact, she couldn’t imagine herself doing anything else.

Born November the 20th, 1944, Mukhtar kicked off her super successful legal career after being called to the English Bar in November, 1966 and to the Nigerian Bar in 1967, going on to serve in several capacities: She started as a pupil counsel in northern Nigeria’s Ministry of Justice and served there for two years, before becoming appointed as the first female Magistrate Grade I in the northern region of Nigeria.

History rewritten;
Aloma Mariam Mukhtar aged 68, made history as the first female Chief Justice of Nigeria 16 July 2012. She was sworn in by then President, Goodluck Jonathan as the 13th indigenous Chief Justice of Nigeria, and was conferred with  the Nigerian National Honour of the Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger (GCON).

She replaced the retiring Judge, Dahiru Musdapher, serving till November 2014 when she resigned.

Impeccable track records of firsts: she was the first female lawyer of northern Nigeria, she is also the first female judge of Kano State’s high court, the first female Court of Appeal justice, the first female Supreme Court of Nigeria justice, and the first female Chief Justice of Nigeria.

The former Chief Justice from Adamawa State received her early education in Zaria, Kaduna State. Later, she moved on with her studies in England, where she completed education at Technical College in Berkshire and Gibson & Weldon College of Law in London. In England. While there, she encountered challenges as the first Nigerian to become a resident of East Brent.

Since 1993, Aloma Mariam Mukhtar has been a member of female lawyer federation, as well as served as the vice-President of Nigeria’s Women Judges Association.

Her exceptional work has fetched her numerous awards and recognition: she was honoured with the Gold Merit Award in 1993 by Kano State government was also acknowledged by the Federation of female lawyers, the International Association of female lawyers, and Nigerian Law School, received the Nigerian national honor of Commander of the Order of Niger in 2006 and was also inducted into the Nigerian Hall of Fame in 2005.

With a reputation of being no-nonsense, independent, open-minded and incorruptible, right from her days as a magistrate and High Court judge in the Kano State Judiciary, pioneering Aloma Mariam Mukhtar remains an inspiration to many till date.

 

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