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Nigerian President Approves First Female Supreme Court Judge

Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo has endorsed the appointment of the first female justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Aloma Mukhtar. Justice Mukhtar still needs to be confirmed by the Senate, reports This Day.

At the 7th Biennial Conference of the National Association of Women Judges, Adetula Ade-Alabi, the chief justice of Lagos, said that female judges will protect the rights of women in judicial matters and will also be a great catalyst for societal transformation, reports This Day. Mukhtar was the founding president of the National Association of Women Judges.

Currently, 195 out of 800 judges in the Nigerian superior courts are female. Women’s rights activists hope that Justice Mukhtar’s appointment will result in ending gender bias in the judiciary. Currently, sharia (Islamic) law has been established in at least twelve states in northern Nigeria. Under sharia law, pregnancy outside of marriage constitutes sufficient evidence for a woman to be convicted of adultery, which carries the sentence of death by stoning.

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Sources:

Vanguard (Lagos) 4/23/05; This Day 4/23/05; Allafrica.com 4/23/05