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List Of All Chief Justice of Nigeria, Past And Present
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List Of All Chief Justice of Nigeria, Past And Present

The Chief Justice of Nigeria is the most senior judge in the country, responsible for the administration and oversight of the Nigerian judiciary. The position was established with Nigeria's independence from British colonial rule in 1960, and has since been held by numerous notable legal figures. This article provides a comprehensive list of all past and present Chief Justices of Nigeria, as well as a historical overview of the Nigerian judiciary, profiles of selected past Chief Justices, the appointment and removal process of Chief Justices in Nigeria, and the achievements of the current Chief Justice.

1. Introduction
The Chief Justice of Nigeria is the head of the Nigerian judiciary and is responsible for overseeing the administration of justice in the country. The position has existed since the colonial era, and a number of individuals have held it over the years. In this article, we'll be taking a closer look at the history of the Nigerian judiciary, as well as providing a comprehensive list of all past Chief Justices of Nigeria.

2. Historical Overview of the Nigerian Judiciary
2.1 The Pre-Independence Judiciary
Prior to Nigeria's independence in 1960, the country's judiciary was largely based on the British legal system. The Governor-General of Nigeria was the head of the judiciary, and he was assisted by a chief justice who was responsible for the day-to-day administration of justice. The pre-independence judiciary was made up of various courts, including the Supreme Court, the High Court, and the Court of Appeal.

2.2 The Post-Independence Judiciary
After Nigeria gained independence, the country's judiciary was restructured to be more in line with the needs of the new nation. The Chief Justice of Nigeria became the head of the judiciary, with the power to appoint judges and oversee the administration of justice. Today, the Nigerian judiciary is made up of various courts, including the Supreme Court, Federal High Court, National Industrial Court, and State High Courts.

3. List of all Past Chief Justices of Nigeria
- Sir Adetokunbo Ademola (1958 - 1972)
- Taslim Olawale Elias (1972 - 1975)
- Darnley Arthur C.J. O'Brien (1975 - 1979)
- Atanda Fatai Williams (1979 - 1983)
- George Sodeinde Sowemimo (1983 - 1985)
- Ayo Gabriel Irikefe (1985 - 1991)
- Mohammed Bello (1992 - 1995)
- Muhammad Lawal Uwais (1995 - 2006)
- Salihu Moddibo Alfa Belgore (2006 - 2007)
- Idris Legbo Kutigi (2007 - 2009)
- Aloysius Iyorgyer Katsina-Alu (2009 - 2011)
- Hon. Justice Dahiru Musdapher (2011 - 2012)
- Hon. Justice Mariam Aloma Mukhtar (2012 - 2014)
- Hon. Justice Mahmud Mohammed (2014 - 2016)
- Hon. Justice Walter Onnoghen (2017 - 2019)

4. Profiles of Selected Past Chief Justices of Nigeria
4.1 Sir Adetokunbo Ademola (1958 - 1972)
Sir Adetokunbo Ademola was the first indigenous Nigerian to hold the position of Chief Justice of Nigeria. He was appointed in 1958 by the colonial government, and served until 1972. During his tenure, he oversaw the implementation of a number of significant legal reforms, including the establishment of the Lagos Court of Appeal and the Nigerian Law School.

4.2 Hon. Justice Dahiru Musdapher (2011 - 2012)
Hon. Justice Dahiru Musdapher was appointed Chief Justice of Nigeria in 2011, following the retirement of his predecessor, Aloysius Iyorgyer Katsina-Alu. During his brief tenure, he oversaw the swearing in of Nigeria's first female Justice of the Supreme Court, Mary Odili.

4.3 Hon. Justice Mariam Aloma Mukhtar (2012 - 2014)
Hon. Justice Mariam Aloma Mukhtar was appointed Chief Justice of Nigeria in July 2012, becoming the first female to hold the position. During her tenure, she oversaw a number of significant legal reforms, including the implementation of an electronic case management system in the Nigerian judiciary. She retired in 2014.5. Appointment and Removal of Chief Justices in Nigeria

The position of Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) is one of the most crucial positions in the Nigerian Judiciary, and the appointment and removal of CJNs are pivotal processes in Nigerian law.

5.1 The Appointment Process

The appointment of CJNs is based on the recommendation of the National Judicial Council (NJC). The NJC is responsible for selecting suitable candidates for the position and forwarding their names to the President of Nigeria. The President then submits the name of the chosen candidate to the Senate for confirmation.

5.2 The Removal Process

The removal process for CJNs is a complicated one. The grounds for removing a CJN include misconduct, incapacity, or gross incompetence. However, the process for removal is strict, and it requires the approval of two-thirds of the Nigerian Senate.

6. Current Chief Justice of Nigeria

The current Chief Justice of Nigeria is Tanko Muhammad. He was sworn in on the 24th of July 2019 and has been serving as the CJN since then.

7. Achievements of the Current Chief Justice of Nigeria

Chief Justice Tanko Muhammad has made some significant contributions to the Nigerian judiciary since his appointment. Here are some of his achievements:

7.1 Adoption of the National Judicial Policy

One of the most significant achievements of Chief Justice Tanko Muhammad was the adoption of the National Judicial Policy in April 2019. This policy aims to promote transparency, accountability, and efficiency within the judiciary.

7.2 Establishment of a Judicial Information Technology Policy

Chief Justice Tanko Muhammad also established a Judicial Information Technology Policy in February 2020. This policy seeks to enhance the use of technology in the Nigerian Judiciary, making the judiciary more accessible and efficient.

8. Conclusion

The position of Chief Justice of Nigeria is a crucial one, and the appointment and removal of CJNs are essential processes in Nigerian law. The current CJN, Tanko Muhammad, has made significant contributions to Nigerian law and has helped to improve the judiciary through the adoption of policies and the establishment of new initiatives.In conclusion, the Chief Justice of Nigeria plays a crucial role in the administration of justice in the country. This list of past and present Chief Justices provides a glimpse into the legal history of Nigeria, and highlights the contributions of notable legal minds to the country's judiciary. As Nigeria continues to evolve and develop, the role of the Chief Justice will remain critical to ensuring the fair and impartial administration of justice across the country.

FAQ

Who was the first Chief Justice of Nigeria?
The first Chief Justice of Nigeria was Sir Adetokunbo Ademola, who served from 1958 to 1972.

Who is the current Chief Justice of Nigeria?
The current Chief Justice of Nigeria is Hon. Justice Tanko Muhammad, who was appointed in 2019.

What is the appointment process for Chief Justices in Nigeria?
The appointment process for Chief Justices in Nigeria involves a nomination by the President, followed by confirmation by the Senate.

How long is the tenure of a Chief Justice in Nigeria?
The tenure of a Chief Justice in Nigeria is not fixed, but they typically retire at the mandatory retirement age of 70 years old.
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