Justices Monica Mensem and Zainab Bulkachuwa


Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa would bow out tomorrow as President Court of Appeal, after spending several decades on the bench, 22 years of it in the appeal court.

President Muhammadu Buhari has approved Justice Monica Dongban Mensem, another woman as acting President of the Court for an initial period of three months, with effect from March 6, 2020.

Justice Mensem, who is the next most senior Judge of the Court of Appeal, will be acting pending when a substantive appointment to the position of the President of the Court of Appeal may be made by President Buhari subject to the confirmation of the Senate.

The President’s approval of the appointment of Justice Mensem, followed the recommendation of the Chief Justice of Nigeria in line with the provisions of Section 238(4) & (5) of the 1999 Constitution as amended.

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Zainab Bulkachuwa, who retires tomorrow was first appointed to act as head of the appeal court in November 2012 by former President Goodluck Jonathan, 14 years after she became a member of the appellate court.

Zainab, who was born in March 1950, represents Gombe State in the Appeal Court.

She was called to the Bar in 1976. Before her elevation to the Appeal Court, she had worked as a judge in the High Court of Bauchi State and served as the Chief Judge of Gombe State.

Who is Monica Mensem?

Justice Monica Bolna’an Dongban-Mensem, 62 years old, is from Plateau State. She recently made the headlines after she was seen controlling traffic in Abuja.

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She was hit by personal tragedy eight years ago, when she lost her son through an auto accident. She vowed to make the roads safer.

Justice Monica Mensem, middle, with FRSC officials in Abuja

After receiving her LL.B and LL.M from Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria-Nigeria and a Post Graduate Diploma from the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, University of London, Russell Square – London, Justice Mensem joined Plateau State judiciary as registrar in 1979.

She served at various times as Magistrate of various grades up to Chief Magistrate between 1981 and 1990.

From 1990-1993 Justice Dongban-Mensem served as Deputy Chief Registrar, Superior Courts and Protocol Affairs and was appointed Judge, High Court of Justice, Plateau Judiciary from 1993-1996.

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She became a the Judge of Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Judiciary from 1997-2003.

She is a woman of many parts. In Jos, she sponsors a daily programme on radio for kids, Bible Stories For Kids on Tin City FM.

She was also an Advisory Committee Member for FCT Judiciary on the National Centre for State Courts International Programs Division from 2001-2002 and was Acting Presiding Justice of the Lagos Division of the Court of Appeal between November and December 2009.