As the President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa, retires this month, another female judge, Justice Monica Dongban-Mensem, from the Shendam Local Government Area of Plateau State will emerge as the next President of the appellate court.
Bulkachuwa, who will clock 70 on March 6, 2020, is expected to go on retirement this month while Dongban-Mensem, the Presiding Justice of the Court of Appeal, Jos division, will take over.
Section 238 of the Constitution states that for a person to be appointed as the President of the Court of Appeal, he or she must first be recommended by the National Judicial Council to the President of the country for appointment.
The President will, in turn, forward the name of the individual to the Senate for confirmation.
Recall that by tradition, the NJC appoints heads of courts based on seniority.
Dongban-Mensem, who is the next most senior judge to Bulkachuwa, will, therefore, emerge as the next President of the appellate court.
Dongban-Mensem, who received both her LL.B and LL.M degrees from the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, is the daughter of a retired Appeal Court Justice, M.B. Douglas-Mensem.
She is an authority in criminal and civil procedure law, taxation and international public finance, public international law, legislative drafting, constitutional and administrative law and international commercial transactions, according to her website.
The judge has a postgraduate diploma from the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, University of London, Russel Square, London.
Justice Dongban-Mensem started as a registrar at the Plateau State High Court in 1979 and later became magistrate of various grades up to chief magistrate between 1981 and 1990.
From 1990 to 1993, Dongban-Mensem served as deputy chief registrar, superior courts and protocol affairs and was appointed judge, High Court of Justice, Plateau Judiciary from 1993 to 1996. On transfer from the former, she became the Judge, Federal Capital Territory Judiciary from 1997 to 2003.
Her hobbies are writing, reading and golfing.
The judge is a mother of four children and two grandchildren.