Hon. Mr. Justice Paul Adamu Galumje was born on the 21st day of April, 1950 at Didan in Kurmi Local Government Area of Taraba State. He attended the Sudan United Mission Primary School, Baissa from 1959 – 1963. Government Secondary School, Ganye from 1964 – 1968. Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria from 1974 – 1977 (LLB. Hons). Nigerian Law School from 1977 – 1978. He was called to the Nigerian Bar on 8th July, 1978. Hon. Justice Galumje is a member of the International Dispute Resolution Institute (MIDRI, 2015).
Hon. Justice P. A. Galumje’s working experience started with a temporary teaching job from January – December 1971 at the North-Eastern Ministry of Education. He was appointed Immigration Assistant in the Federal Ministry of Internal Affairs from January – September 1972. He was appointed Assistant Registrar in the North-Eastern State Judiciary, Gongola State in 1974 and was promoted to the post of Higher Registrar in 1977.
On the 2nd of October, 1979, Hon. Justice Galumje was appointed Acting Magistrate Grade II, in the then Gongola State Judiciary. He became a Substantive Magistrate Grade II on 8th July, 1980, Senior Magistrate Grade I in 1984, Chief Magistrate Grade II in 1985 and rose to become Chief Magistrate Grade I in 1987; a post he held until 1989 when he was appointed Deputy Chief Registrar. On the 11th of April, 1990, Hon. Justice P. A. Galumje was appointed High Court Judge. He was elevated as a Justice of Court of Appeal on 22nd November, 2005 and to the Supreme Court of Nigeria on 5th of December, 2016.
The deficit in the number of Justices of the Supreme Court’s bench will widen by nine, as Justice Paul Galumje retires today (Tuesday).
Justice Galumje, who was born on April 21, 1950, will attain the mandatory retirement age of 70 on Tuesday.
This brings the number of Supreme Court Justices to a new low of 12.
Since April 2019, the number of the apex court’s judges has been on a steady decline starting with the controversial exit of the then Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen.
From the 17 that it was before Onnoghen’s exit, the number dropped to 14 last year with the retirement of Justices Kumai Akaahs and Sidi Bage.
The number further dropped to 13 in February this year with the retirement of Justice Amiru Sanusi.
The exit of Galumje, who hails from Didan in Kurmi Local Government Area of Taraba State, and was appointed to the Supreme Court bench on December 5, 2016, brings the number of the apex court’s judges to 12.
The traditional valedictory court session usually held for retiring judges will not likely be held for Justice Galumje as the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Tanko Muhammad, had since March 23, 2020, directed the shutting down of all court sittings in the country except for urgent cases.
The shutting down of courts was part of measures to contain the spread of the COVID-19 in Nigeria.
The pandemic is going to delay the process of filling in the nine vacant seats of the apex court.
He said, “The President should, in the interest of justice and the health of the remaining Justices, make the appointments without any further delay.”