Mohammed Uwais

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Mohammed Lawal Uwais
9th Chief Justice of Nigeria
In office
Preceded byMohammed Bello
Succeeded bySalihu Moddibo Alfa Belgore
Personal details
Born12 June 1936
Zaria, Kaduna State, Nigeria

Mohammed Lawal Uwais (born 1936)[1] was the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria from 1995 until 2006. Later he chaired a commission that published a controversial report on electoral reform.

Uwais is the son of the Chief Alkali, and later Waziri of Zaria emirate.[2]

Electoral reform report[edit]

After retiring from the Supreme Court, Uwais chaired a panel on electoral reform that submitted a report on 11 December 2008 with recommendations that included establishing commissions to deal with Electoral Offences, Constituency Delimitation and Political Parties Registration and Regulation. Some of the power vested in the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the State Independent Electoral Commissions would be transferred to the new commissions. The committee recommended proportional representation in elections to the Federal and State legislatures and to the local government councils.[3] The report also recommended that the head of the Independent National Electoral Commission should be appointed by the judiciary rather than the President. This recommendation was rejected by President Umaru Yar'Adua.[4]

Yar'Adua forwarded a modified version of the Uwais report to the legislature in 2009, drawing considerable criticism since many felt that recent elections had been deeply flawed and that basic reforms were required.[5] In March 2010, Acting President Goodluck Jonathan forwarded an unedited version of the report to the National Assembly for approval, by implication saying that the recommendations should be implemented in their entirety before the 2011 national elections.[6] The issue of power to appoint the INEC head remained controversial. Before Jonathan had resubmitted the report, the Senate Committee on the Review of the Constitution had rejected the recommendation to transfer this power to the judiciary.[7] After the resubmission, deputy chief whip of the Senate, Mohammed Mana, argued that letting judiciary appoint the INEC chairman violated the principle of separation of powers, since the judiciary was responsible for hearing the cases arising from elections.[8]


  1. ^ "Hon. Justice Muhammadu Lawal Uwais, GCON". Federal Judicial Service Commission.
  2. ^ Prof. John N. Paden (10/27/07.). "The Sokoto Caliphate and its Legacies (1804-2004)". Dawodu. Retrieved 2010-05-03. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  3. ^ Daniel Idonor (12 December 2008). "Electoral Reform - UWAIS Panel Recommends Independent Candidates". Daily Champion. Retrieved 2010-05-03.
  4. ^ "Nigeria election reform 'U-turn'". BBC News. 12 March 2009. Retrieved 2010-05-03.
  5. ^ HOPE AFOKE ORIVRI (24 March 2009). "Electoral reform: Doctoring of Uwais report unacceptable". Nigerian Compass. Retrieved 2010-05-03.
  6. ^ "Electoral Reform - Can Jonathan Make Any Difference?". ThisDay. 18 March 2010. Retrieved 2010-05-03.
  7. ^ Emmanuel Aziken (Mar 1, 2010). "Senators disagree over Uwais panel's report on INEC chair's job". Vanguard. Retrieved 2010-05-03.
  8. ^ Stanley Yakubu (29 March 2009). "National Assembly Will Decide Who Becomes INEC Chairman - Mana". Leadership.