Nigerian elected judge of African Court on Human Rights

Nigeria’s Stella Isibhakhomen Anukam has been elected as one of the judges of the African Court on Human and People’s Rights.


A statement by Sarah Sanda, Media aide to Foreign Affairs Minister, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama, said Nigeria secured the seat after fourth round of keenly contested election at the ongoing 31st African Union Summit of Heads of State and Government in Nouackchott, Mauritania.

The Court is composed of eleven Judges, nationals of Member States of the African Union.


Anukam is currently director, International and comparative Law, Federal Ministry of Justice.

Anukam has a distinguished legal career spanning over 32 years and doubles as the National Coordinator on Human Rights Issues in Nigeria.

“A Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators in Nigeria, Anukam was a former Director, Freedom of Information Unit, in the Federal Ministry of Justice,” the statement said.

The statement quoted Anukam’s as saying that her mission at the Court is to contribute to building a strong, just and independent African Court.

Anukam pledged to be committed to through interpretation and application of the Africa charter, and other relevant human rights instruments for the protection and promotion of human and people’s rights in Africa.

African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights is a continental court established by African countries to ensure the protection of human and peoples’ rights in Africa.

It complements and reinforces the functions of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights.

The Court officially started its operations in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in November 2006. In August 2007, it moved its seat to Arusha, the United Republic of Tanzania.

The judges are elected for a six-year term, renewable once.

The judges of the Court elect from among themselves, a president and vice-president of the Court who serve a two-year term.

The President of the Court resides and works on a full time basis at the seat of the Court, while the other ten (10) judges work on a part-time basis.

The Court has jurisdiction over all cases and disputes submitted to it concerning the interpretation and application of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, (the Charter).

This also includes the Protocol and any other relevant human rights instrument ratified by the States concerned.

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