If there was one thing that the government of the former President did successfully, it was to give women more than enough representation in all the arms of government, where he could do so. In the judiciary, when it was the turn of Maryam Aloma Mukhtar to be appointed the Chief Justice of Nigeria, she was given the chance. Today, the Court of Appeal also has a female President, while other female justices were nominated into the Supreme Court. Today, there are three women on the apex court’s bench. In order of seniority, they are Mary Odili, Clara Bata Ogunbiyi and Kudirat Kekere-Ekun..”
Justice Mary Ukaego Odili: Was born on 12th May, 1952 at Amudi Obizi, Ezinitte – Mbaise LGA of Imo State.
She attended various primary schools including St Benedict’s Primary School, Obizi Ezinitte, St Michael’s Primary School, Umuahia, St Agnes Primary School, Maryland, Lagos and Our Lady of Apostles Primary School, Yaba, Lagos between 1959 and 1965.
She also attended various secondary schools including Our Lady of Apostles Secondary School, Yaba, Owerri Girls Secondary School, Owerri, Mbaise Girls Secondary School, Mbaise and the Queen of the Rosary College, Onitsha between 1965 and 1972. She later proceeded to the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in Law in 1976.after which she went to the Nigeria Law School. she rose through the ranks as a State Counsel from 1977 to become a High court judge in 1992 and moved on to the Court of Appeal in 2004. She was appointed to the Supeme Court in 2011 under the Yar Adua /Goodluck Jonathan term.
Justice Clara Bata Ogunbiyi was born on 27th February 1948, at Lassa, Borno State. She had her primary education in Borno State. His Lordship started her legal career with a Diploma in Law from the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, October 1969 – June 1971. She returned for his L.L.B Hons in the same institution from October 1972 to June 1975. She was called to the bar in 1976. She served the National Service (NYSC) between July 1976 and June 1977.
She obtained a Master’s degree in Criminology at University of Hull (United Kingdom) in 1982 and Post Graduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) University of Maiduguri in 2002.
She was Assistant Registrar High Court of Justice Maiduguri between October 1971 and September1972. She rose to the position of State Counsel in July 1977. While in Ministry of Justice, she progressively rose through the ranks to Senior State Counsel in August 1979. Thereafter Senior State Counsel I & II from August 1979 – January 1983.
From 1st February 1983 to November 1984, she held the position of Deputy Director of Public Prosecution. Her next appointment was as Director Civil Litigation from December 1984 to January 1987 following which she was appointed as a High Court Judge of Borno State Judiciary making her the first lady Judge at the state and the entire North-east sub-region.
She was appointed Justice of the Court of Appeal in October 2002. She also served as presiding justice, Court of Appeal Ibadan, Lagos and Jos Divisions. She was appointed Justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria in July 2012.
Justice Kudirat Motonmori Olatokunbo Kekere-Ekun was born on the 7th of May, 1958. She obtained her LL.B in 1980 from the University of Lagos and a Master’s Degree in Law from the London School of Economics and Political Science in November 1983. She was called to the Nigerian Bar on 10th July 1981. His Lordship rose from the post of Senior Magistrate Grade II with the Lagos State Judiciary to this present position as a Justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria. As a High Court judge, his lordship served as Chairman Robbery and Firearms Tribunal, Zone II, Ikeja from November 1996 to May 1999. She also served as a member of the court of Appeal ICT Committee from June 2011 to July 2013 when she was appointed to the Supreme Court