past_ministers_of_justice_in_nigeria_and_attorney_general

Ministers of Justice in Nigeria from 1960 Till Date

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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)

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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.

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List of past and present Minister of Justice Years in office Remark
Abubakar Malami November 11, 2015, till date At the moment, Malami is the longest-serving minister of justice and attorney general of the federation.
Mohammed Bello Adoke July 2, 2011 to May 2015
Mohammed Bello Adoke April 6, 2010 to May 29, 2011
Adetokunbo Kayode Feb 10, 2010 to March 17,  2010
Michael Aondoakaa July 26, 2007 to Feb 10, 2010 He was famous for saying that President Umar Musa Yar’Adua could rule Nigeria from his Saudi Arabia hospital bed. Yar’Adua would later die
Bayo Ojo July 2005 to July 2007 He was appointed by President Olusegun Obasanjo and was in charge for almost two months into the administration of Yar’Adua
Akin Olujimi July 2003 to July 2005
Kanu Godwin Agabi 2002 to 2003
Bola Ige January 3, 2000 to December 23, 2001 He was initially posted to the ministry of power until he was redeployed to the ministry of justice. He was assassinated in Ibadan a few days to Christmas. Up till now no one has been brought to justice for the gruesome killing of the brilliant Justice minister
Kanu Godwin Agabi June 1999 to January 2000
Achiji Abdullahi Ibrahim 1997 to May 1999 Ibrahim was the last justice minister during the military regime
Michael Ashikodi Agbamuche 1994 to 1997
Olu Onagoruwa 1993 to 1994
Clement Akpamgbo 1991 to 1993
Bola Ajibola Sept 12, 1985 to Dec 4, 1991
Chike Ofodile 1984 to Aug. 1985
Kehinde Sofola Oct 1983 to Dec. 1983
Richard Akinjide 1979 to 1983
Augustine Nnamani 1975 to 1979
Dan Onuorah Ibekwe 1972 to 1975
Nabo Graham-Douglas 1966 to 1972
G.I.M Onyiuke March 1, 1966 to July 29, 1966
Taslim Olawale Elias 1960 to 1966 Taslim Elias was the first Nigerian Minister of Justice after independence. He would later become a judge and president of the International Court of Justice at The Hague
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.

Wrapping up:

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.

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