The Hon. Justice Zainab Adamu Bulkachuwa

Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa was born in March 1950. She represents Gombe State in the Appeal Court. Called to the Bar in 1976, she was elevated to the Appeal Court in 1998. Before then, she had worked as a judge in the High Court of Bauchi State and served as the Chief Judge of Gombe State. Celebrated matters she handled include the Sokoto State governorship election petition of 2007 and the case instituted by former Governor Timipre Sylva last year to challenge the nomination of Seriake Dickson as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate. Prior to her appointment, she was the Presiding Judge of the Abuja division of the court. She is due to retire in 2020.

President Goodluck Jonathan has approved the Appointment of Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa As The Acting President Of The Court Of Appeal November 2012. Now The National Judicial Council renewed the appointment of Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa as the Acting President of the Court of Appeal for another three months.

The Hon. Justice M. Nasir GCON (President 1978-1992)

Nasir, Mamman was born in 1929 in Katsina State, educated at Kaduna College (1943-47) called, Public Works Department Engineering School, Kaduna (1947-50), University College, Ibadan (1951-53), Council of Legal Education, London (1953-56). He was called to the bar (Lincoln’s Inn) (1955). Thereafter, he had a distinguished legal career serving in the following capacities: Crown Counsel then Senior Crown Counsel, at various posts in the Northern Region 1956-61; Minister of Justice, Northern Region (1961-66), Director of Public Prosecution, Northern Region (1967), Solicitor General, North Central State (1967), Attorney-General, North Central State (1968-75), Supreme Court Justice (1975-76), President, Federal Court of Appeal (1978-92). He also served as legal adviser to the Northern Peoples’ Congress (1961-66), appointed as Galadima of Katsina.

The Hon. Justice Umaru Abdullahi CON (President 1999-2009)

Former president of the Court of Appeal, Justice Umaru Abdullahi was born on November 30, 1939. He was called to the Bar in 1968 and was elevated to the Bench of the Court of Appeal in 1983.

Following the creation of Katsina State in 1987, he was seconded there to help set up the state judiciary. After three years, he returned to the Appeal Court of which he was appointed President in 1999.

Justice Abdullahi has adjudicated several electoral cases since Nigeria’s return to democracy in 1999 and, on the whole, the Bench is believed to have acquitted itself creditably.

Under him, new rules of practice and procedures for the court were made and he facilitated the construction of its headquarters within the Three Arms Zone, Abuja. He is a very unusual transparent, accountable, democratic, charismatic, amiable and erudite jurist, who was always ready to imbibe the features and tradions of the Bar on the younger ones.

The Hon. Justice M.M. A. Akanbi CFR (President 1992-1999)

Muhammad Mustapha Adebayo Akanbi was born on 11 September 1932 at Accra, Ghana, to Muslim parents from Ilorin in Nigeria. After completing secondary school he worked as an executive officer in the Ghana Civil Service. He was also active as a trade unionist. Moving to Nigeria, he worked in the School Broadcasting Department of the Ministry of Education.

Mustapha Akanbi obtained a scholarship to study law at the Institute of Administration, now Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, followed by legal studies in the United Kingdom. He was called to the English Bar in 1963, and was called to the Nigerian Bar in January 1964. He joined the Ministry of Justice and became a Senior State Counsel in 1968. In 1969 he started private practice in Kano. In 1974 he was appointed a judge of the Federal Revenue Court and in January 1977, he was elevated to the Court of Appeal Bench. In 1992 he was appointed President of the Nigerian Court of Appeal, a position he held till his retirement in 1999.

In 2000 President Olusegun Obasanjo appointed Akbani as Chairman of the newly established Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC). Akbani retired in 2005 on completion of the first term of office. He joined the Board of the Justice and Law Enforcement Reformation Organization, a non-profit organization that aims to eradicate corruption and poverty from the perspective of the Judiciary and Law Enforcement agencies.

The Hon. Justice Isa Ayo Salami OFR (President 2009)

Isa Ayo Salami was born on 15 October, 1943 in Ganma, Kwara State. He was enrolled in Lyeru Okin African Church School, Offa in 1949. There he moved on to St. Cyprians Catholic School, Offa, and later Offa Grammar School. Salami then attended Provincial Secondary School (Rumfs College), Kano, from where he graduated in 1963.

By the following year Salami had enrolled in the Institute of Administration, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. He attended that prestigious University for nearly three years and continued on to Nigerian Law School, Lagos from 1967-1968. During this time, Salami proved to be an advanced student who quickly earned a Bachelor of Law (LL.B). Salami also served as the Offa Grammar School Senior Prefect and held offices at Rumfs College and the Institute of Administration.

After completing this highly distinguished educational career, Salami was admitted to the Nigerian Bar on 28 June, 1968. He started off as a Collector of Customs and Excise Grade II, and by 1971 was transferred to North Central State Public Service Commission to serve as State Counsel Grade II.

In a few years Salami moved up to become Senior State Counsel Grade I and then Acting Solicitor-General and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Justice, Kaduna. From this he was transferred to Kwara State Public Service, and started as Senior State Counsel Grade I.

Over the next few years Salami served in a variety of honourable positions. In 1976 he was Acting Director of Public Prosecution, and by the very next year had advanced to Deputy Director. Salami concurrently held the position of Acting Solicitor-General and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Justice, Ilorin till 1978.

Justice Isa A. Salami served diligently in each of his many enviable capacities, and his career continued to grow. He was proud to earn the noble position of Judge of High Court of Justice in 1978 and served in that esteemed office for several years. By 1988 Salami had become the Presiding Justice, Benin for the Court of Appeal, then moved on to Presiding Justice, Kadun before ending up as the Presiding Justice, Lagos, where he continues to serve today.

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