Supreme Court of Nigeria

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This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Supreme Court of Nigeria
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Established October 1, 1963; 55 years ago (1963-10-01)
Country Nigeria
Location Three Arms Zone, Abuja, FCT, Nigeria
Composition method Presidential nomination with Senate confirmation
Authorized by Constitution of Nigeria
Judge term length Life tenure with mandatory retirement at the age of 70.
No. of positions 15
Chief Justice of Nigeria
Currently Walter Samuel Nkanu Onnoghen

The Supreme Court of Nigeria (SCN), is the highest court in Nigeria, and is located in the Central District, Abuja, in what is known as the Three Arms Zone, so called due to the proximity of the offices of the Presidential Complex, the National Assembly, and the Supreme Court.


In 1963, the Federal Republic of Nigeria was proclaimed and Nnamdi Azikiwe became its first President. Appeals from the Federal Supreme Court to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council were abolished at that point, and the Supreme Court became the highest court in Nigeria. In 1976, the Court of Appeal (originally known as the Federal Court of Appeal) was established as a national court to entertain appeals from the High Courts of each of Nigeria's 36 states, which are the trial courts of general jurisdiction. The Supreme Court in its current form was shaped by the Supreme Court Act of 1990 and by Chapter VII of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria.

Under the 1999 constitution, the Supreme Court has both original and appellate jurisdictions, has the sole authority and jurisdiction to entertain appeals from Court of Appeal, having appellate jurisdiction over all lower federal courts and highest state courts. Decisions rendered by the court are binding on all courts in Nigeria except the Supreme Court itself.

Structure and organization[edit]

The Supreme Court is composed of the Chief Justice of Nigeria and such number of justices not more than 21, appointed by the President on the recommendation of the National Judicial Council, (NJC) and subject to confirmation by the Senate. Justices of the Supreme Court must be qualified to practice law in Nigeria, and must have been so qualified for a period not less than fifteen years. Justices of the Supreme Court of Nigeria have a mandatory retirement age of 70 years.[1]

Current justices[edit]

Office Name Term
Chief Justice Walter Samuel Nkanu Onnoghen[2] 2005–incumbent
Associate Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad 2007–incumbent
Associate Justice Bode Rhodes-Vivour 2010–incumbent
Associate Justice Nwali Sylvester Ngwuta 2011–incumbent
Associate Justice Mary Odili 2011–incumbent
Associate Justice Olukayode Ariwoola 2011–incumbent
Associate Justice Musa Datijo Muhammad ?–incumbent
Associate Justice Clara Bata Ogunbiyi 2012–incumbent
Associate Justice Kumai Bayang Akaahs 2012–incumbent
Associate Justice Kudirat Motonmori Olatokunbo 2013–incumbent
Associate Justice John Inyang Okoro 2013–incumbent
Associate Justice Chima Centus Nweze 2014–incumbent
Associate Justice Amiru Sanusi ?–incumbent
Associate Justice Amina Adamu Augie 2016–incumbent
Associate Justice Ejembi Eko 2016–incumbent
Associate Justice Paul Adamu Galinje 2016–incumbent
Associate Justice Sidi Dauda Bage ?–incumbent
  1. Hon. Justice Walter. S.N. Onnoghen, GCFR (Chief Justice of Nigeria)
  2. Hon. Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad, CFR
  3. Hon. Justice Bode Rhodes-Vivour, CFR
  4. Hon. Justice Nwali Sylvester Ngwuta, CFR
  5. Hon. Justice Mary Ukaego Peter-Odili, CFR
  6. Hon. Justice Olukayode Ariwoola
  7. Hon.justice Musa Dattijo Muhammad
  8. Hon. Justice Kumai Bayang Akaahs, OFR
  9. Hon. Justice kudirat M.O. kekere-Even.
  10. Hon. Justice john inyang Okoro
  11. Hon. Justice Chima Centus Nweze
  12. Hon. Justice Amiru Sanusi, OFR
  13. Hon. Justice Amina Adamu Augie, CON
  14. Hon. Justice Ejembi Eko
  15. Hon. Justice Paul Adamu Galinje
  16. Hon. Justice Sidi Dauda Bage


  1. ^ "Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria".
  2. ^ "Index - Supreme Court of Nigeria".

External links[edit]