Ministers of Justice in Nigeria from 1960 To Date

Last updated on January 25th, 2023 at 08:31 pm

Since 1960 till date, Nigeria has produced 23 Ministers of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation. The minister is in charge of prosecuting crimes against the State and defending civil cases on behalf of the Federal Government.

The first pioneer Minister of Justice was a renowned jurist Taslim Olawale Elias from 1960 till the military took over power in a military mutiny. The Ministry of Justice has agencies and departments that are coordinated by the minister.

The incumbent Attorney-General and Minister of Justice is Abubakar Malami, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN).

Nigeria’s Justice Minister from 1960 to date

Below is a list of present and past ministers who were appointed by either an executive president of military head of state from 1960 till date.

List of past and present Minister of JusticeYears in office
Abubakar MalamiNovember 11, 2015, till date
Mohammed Bello AdokeJuly 2, 2011 to May 2015
Mohammed Bello AdokeApril 6, 2010 to May 29, 2011
Adetokunbo KayodeFeb 10, 2010 to March 17,  2010
Michael AondoakaaJuly 26, 2007 to Feb 10, 2010
Bayo OjoJuly 2005 to July 2007
Akin OlujimiJuly 2003 to July 2005
Kanu Godwin Agabi2002 to 2003
Bola IgeJanuary 3, 2000, to December 23, 2001
Kanu Godwin AgabiJune 1999 to January 2000
Achiji Abdullahi Ibrahim1997 to May 1999
Michael Ashikodi Agbamuche1994 to 1997
Olu Onagoruwa1993 to 1994
Clement Akpamgbo1991 to 1993
Bola AjibolaSept 12, 1985, to Dec 4, 1991
Chike Ofodile1984 to Aug. 1985
Kehinde SofolaOct 1983 to Dec. 1983
Richard Akinjide1979 to 1983
Augustine Nnamani1975 to 1979
Dan Onuorah Ibekwe1972 to 1975
Nabo Graham-Douglas1966 to 1972
G.I.M OnyiukeMarch 1, 1966 to July 29, 1966
Taslim Olawale Elias1960 to 1966

No female has ever been Nigeria’s Justice Minister

From the list above, no woman has ever been appointed as the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice since Nigeria’s independence in 1960.

One day, we hope a woman will break this jinx just as Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala did as the first female Minister of Finance in Nigeria during the administration of Olusegun Obasanjo.


The Ministry of Justice isn’t only saddled with the responsibility of defending civil cases on behalf of the Federal Government, he also upholds the principle of law.

Unfortunately, most of those who occupied the position during the military regime found themselves in a difficult position because all the military regimes in Nigeria violated fundamental human rights and no justice was done.

Who is Nigeria’s first Minister of Justice?

Taslim Elias was the first Nigerian Minister of Justice after independence (1960 to 1966).

He would later become a judge and president of the International Court of Justice at The Hague

What is  Michael Aondoakaa famous for as Nigeria’s former Minister of Justice?

Mr Aondoakaa was famous for saying that President Umar Musa Yar’Adua could rule Nigeria from his Saudi Arabia hospital bed. Yar’Adua died in May 2010.

Who is Nigeria’s longest Minister of Justice?

Abubakar Malami is the longest-serving Nigeria’s Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation.

Mr Malami assumed office as Nigeria’s Justice Minister on November 11, 2015. After the first term of President Muhammadu Buhari, he was reappointed on August 21, 2019.

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