- Title: NIGERIA: First female Chief Justice to take on corruption-ridden judiciary
- Date: 17th July 2012
- Summary: LAGOS, NIGERIA (JULY 16, 2012) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF FEDERAL HIGH COURT IN LAGOS VARIOUS OF LEGAL PRACTITIONER HANACHO ALOZIE ON THE PHONE (SOUNDBITE) (English) HANACHO ALOZIE, LEGAL PRACTITIONER SAYING: "For one, issues bordering on integrity are going to take the front burner. I know that she does not take kindly to cases of corruption and things like that, so we are going to see the judiciary buckle up in that area, we are going to see that some of these cases that have been lingering are going to start getting decided one way or the other." WIDE OF FEDERAL HIGH COURT
- Embargoed: 1st August 2012 13:00
- Location: Nigeria
- Country: Nigeria
- Topics: Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA2HUD9IQFJDH6VSY2G4O2DWAZR
- Story Text: She has over 40 years of legal experience and comes from various senior positions in the judiciary, but the mandate for Nigeria's new Chief Justice, Aloma Mariam Mukhtar will be far from easy. She is taking on a legal system in a country blighted by endemic corruption.
Sixty eight-year-old Mukhtar, Nigeria's first ever woman in her position joins oil and finance ministers, who are among the most high-profile female leaders in Africa's most populous nation.
Mukhtar was the first female lawyer and high court judge from the predominantly Muslim north.
She was nominated by President Goodluck Jonathan and confirmed by the senate, a move welcomed by civil society groups.
Jonathan said he was confident that she would transform the country's judicial system.
"Although this administration has remained focused in projecting women, the learned chief justice achieved this outstanding feat on account of her brilliance, resilience and hard work," he said.
Nigeria has attracted billions of dollars of investments from the world's top oil companies. Yet poverty in Africa's second biggest economy is rising, with almost 100 million people living on less than $1 a day.
Getting a clear picture of how much money Nigeria has lost to corruption over the years is almost impossible. The system is haemorrhaging cash in so many places that accountants often struggle to make sense of it all.
Analysts say her pedigree and track record against corruption in her previous roles shows that her tenure will be one characterised by drastic judicial reform and expedition of graft cases.
"For one, issues bordering on integrity are going to take the front burner. I know that she does not take kindly to cases of corruption and things like that, so we are going to see the judiciary buckle up in that area, we are going to see that some of these cases that have been lingering are going to start getting decided one way or the other," said Hanacho Alozie, a legal practitioner in Lagos.
Justice Mukhtar took over from Justice Dahiru Musdapher, who retired last week as the Chief Justice of Nigeria having attained the retirement age of 70 years.
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