Full List: Nigeria’s 22 Chief Justices Since Pre-colonial, Post-colonial Era
- Before Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, there was Justice Stafford Foster Sutton, the legendary Justice Adetokunbo Ademola KBE and others
- The position of the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) dates back to the pre-colonial era of 1914 when Nigeria had Sir Edwin Speed as its first Chief Justice
- However, there was a transition down the line in the post-colonial era when Nigeria has its first indigenous Chief Justice in 1958
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Following the swearing-in of Justice Olukayode Ariwoola of the Supreme Court as the acting Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) by President Muhammadu Buhari, Nigeria has over the years had 21 justices who previously held the position.
Justice Ariwoola becomes the 22nd Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) since the beginning of the colonial era as well as the 17th since the post-colonial era.
However, Legit.ng in this short piece will be reeling out all the 22 Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) since 1914.
1. Sir Edwin Speed, 1914–1918
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2. Sir Ralph Combe, 1918–1929
3. Donald Kingdon, 1929–1946
4. Sir John Verity, 1946–1954
5. Sir Stafford Sutton, 1955–1958
Post-colonial era/military era
6. Sir Adetokunbo Ademola, 1958–1972
7. Taslim Olawale Elias, 1972–1975
8. Sir Darnley Arthur Alexander, 1975–1979
9. Atanda Fatai Williams, 1979–1983
10. George Sodeinde Sowemimo, 1983–1985
11. Ayo Gabriel Irikefe, 1985–1987
12. Mohammed Bello, 1987–1995
13. Muhammad Lawal Uwais, 1995–2006
14. Salihu Moddibo Alfa Belgore, 2006–2007
15. Idris Legbo Kutigi, 2007–2009
16. Aloysius Iyorgyer Katsina-Alu, 2009–2011
17. Dahiru Musdapher, 2011–2012
18. Aloma Mariam Mukhtar, 2012–2014
19. Mahmud Mohammed, 2014–2016
20. Walter Samuel Nkanu Onnoghen, 2017–2019
21. Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad, 2019–2022
22. Olukayode Ariwoola, 2022-
Supreme court vacancies: breakdown of shortlisted judges by region as lawyers, SANs sidelined
Meanwhile, the FJSC has shortlisted 29 judges of the court of appeal to fill six vacant positions at the supreme court bench.
According to section 231(3) of the 1999 constitution, the position is open to legal practitioners with a minimum of 15 years post-call.
In a letter dated June 13 by the NBA judicial committee's chairman, Babatunde Ajibade, none of the 23 lawyers who applied were shortlisted.