‘The Justice Muktar I know’ – Femi Falana

July 16, 2012

Arts & Culture

As many rejoice over the appointment of Nigeria’s first female Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, a rarity even on the global stage, herewith the opinion of one whose views are widely respected in Nigeria and beyond, Femi Falana, a lawyer of many years, a human rights advocate and a Nigerian who has never been known to kiss up to authority just for ulterior or personal gains.

Congratulations to Justice Muktar, and here’s hoping Nigerians can look forward to an era in which justice would be dispensed without fear or favor, tendencies that all who knows her have vowed she would continue on the country’s highest bench.  TOLA.


By A Reporter, The Nation. 10/07/2012 00:00:00

My first appearance before the Honourable Justice Alooma Muktar was at the Kano State High Court in 1985. I was very impressed by the matured way she conducted the case which had to do with the pilfering of the funds of a trade union – the National Union of Food ,Tobacco and Beverages. Since then I have followed her career on the bench. She has carved a niche for herself as a no nonsense judge.

“Mrs Justice Muktar is a courageous and principled jurist. She was one of the three Justices of the Supreme Court who wrote the powerful dissenting opinions in the presidential election case of Mohammadu Buhari v Umaru Yar’Adua. She is a lady of justice and not of technicality. Her ladyship headed the panel which recommended the resolution of the intractable case of the Honourable Justice Ayo Salami which led the National Judicial Council (NJC) to lift the suspension of the President of the Court of Appeal. Because of her solid integrity Mrs Justice Muktar commands the respect of judges and lawyers.

“In an environment where corruption has percolated the fabric of the judicial sector, Mrs Justice Muktar has never been associated with corruption or abuse of office. As a leader of extraordinary moral force she is eminently suited to rid the judiciary of corrupt elements. Having worked closely with the out-going Chief Justice of Nigeria, the Honourable Justice Dahiru Musdapher I have no doubt that Mrs Justice Muktar is going to forge ahead with the far-reaching reforms initiated by her predecessor.

The new Chief Justice is expected to reposition the National Judicial Council to defend the Judiciary and treat complaints against judges with dispatch. With the co-operation of her colleagues, she should embark on the task of decongesting the Supreme Court. She should collaborate with the Nigerian Bar Association to ensure that lawyers who serve as conduit pipe for corruption are identified and sanctioned. Under her leadership the apex court should revisit and review judgments of the apex court that have tended to promote election malpractice. In particular, Section 285 of the Constitution which provides for the resolution of an election petition within 180 days ought not to have been interpreted to deny aggrieved parties the opportunity to have their cases determined on the merit by the tribunals. Similarly, Section 87 of the Electoral Act should not have been interpreted to justify the imposition of candidates by political leaders. The new Chief Justice has a duty to turn the Supreme Court to a court of justice and not a court of law”!

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4 Comments on “‘The Justice Muktar I know’ – Femi Falana”

  1. Fatai Bakare Says:

    I have no doubt in my mind that Justice Muktar will perform because she did get to this position on merit and not by political appointment or by national quota. With her antecedents she has no option than to live to the expectation as being the first woman to occupy that seat.

    She has scored many firsts as a lady jurist and has been above board. I feel she should not dance to the tunes of corruption music now that she has only two years to round up her career as an eminent jurist. She should score another first by being the Chief Justice in the highest office of the nation to hold judicial corruption by the horns and clean the mess that has plagued the system all this while.

    Her not-too-long case of recommending the reinstatement of Justice Isa Bello is a pointer that she allows her mind to guide her in her judgements. Yes we shall wait-and-see but I have this strong feeling that she will not disappoint to spoil the good name she has laboured to give to herself in the judiciary.



    • emotan77 Says:

      Dear Fatai,

      Thanks v. much for this.

      I’m sure millions are praying for her success and we all have high hopes that she will not disappoint.




  2. Falade A.G. Says:

    Let’s wait and see!



    • emotan77 Says:

      Thanks, Dear Prof.

      That – let’s-wait-and-see – is my feeling too but we just hope that the opinions expressed so far in the press about Justice Muktar will tally with the way her leadership era at the apex court would come to be remembered when it’s over. Nigerians have gone down that road all too often: great expectations and monumental disappointments. It’s too recent and still ongoing to recall the “I voted for Jonathan, not the PDP” refrain during and after the last elections; see where it’s landed us.

      Regards, as always,



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