Last Updated on November 10, 2021 by Ope Quadri
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)
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 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.
The Ministry of Justice isn’t only saddled with the responsibility of defending civil cases on behalf of the Federal Government, he is also to uphold 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.
Ope is the Head of Content at InfomediaNG. He’s a researcher whose interests cut across real estate investment, stocks, financial technology, and youth empowerment. He’s awesome in Content Marketing and SEO. Favourite Tools: Google Analytics, Canva, UberSuggest