PhD holder, former Sharia judge — meet Tanko Muhammad, acting CJN

President Muhammadu Buhari, on Friday, swore in Tanko Ibrahim Muhammad as the new chief justice of Nigeria (CJN) following the suspension of the Walter Onnoghen.

Onnoghen, who was appointed in 2016, was removed after corruption allegations were levelled against him.

Muhammad is coming on board three weeks to the presidential election.

Here are five things to note about him:


Born on December 31, 1953 at Doguwa, Giade, a local government area in Bauchi state. He had his primary education at Giade Primary School from 1961 to 1968. He attended Government Secondary School, Azare, where he obtained the West Africa School Certificate in 1973. He gained admission to read Law at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria in 1976 and graduated in 1980. He attended the Nigerian Law School from 1980 to 1981.

He later obtained a master’s and PhD from the same university in 1984 and 1998 respectively.


He began his career as a magistrate in 1982. This was after he was called to the bar. He rose to the position of senior magistrate grade II from 1984 to 1986 and was appointed the provost, College of Legal and Islamic Studies, Bauchi from 1986 to 1989.

In 1990, he was appointed as chief magistrate of the high court of federal capital territory, a position he held till 1991, when he became a judge of the Sharia Court of Appeal, Bauchi state.

In 1993, Muhammad was elevated to the position of justice of the Court of appeal and served in that capacity till 2006.

He was appointed to the bench of the supreme court as a judge in 2006 and was sworn in on January 8, 2007.