News24

Nigeria gets 1st female chief justice

2012-07-16 19:46

Abuja - Nigeria's first-ever female Supreme Court chief justice was sworn in on Monday by President Goodluck Jonathan, who described the event as "historic".

Aloma Mariam Mukhtar, 68, was nominated to the post on 4 July.

"Today we are witness to history with the swearing in of Justice Aloma Mukhtar as the first female chief justice of Nigeria," Jonathan said at the ceremony, calling it an "important milestone in the annals of our nation judicial history".

He cited corruption and "acts of terrorism" as key issues requiring the attention of the country's top jurist.

An insurgency by radical Islamist group Boko Haram has claimed more than 1 000 lives in the north and centre of the country since the middle of 2009.

Mukhtar was born in Kano state in Nigeria's mainly Muslim north, where gender inequality is most acute.

Only 3% of females from the north complete secondary school, while more than half are married by the age of 16, according to a report released in May by international educational organisation, the British Council.