The Ministry has always been one of the traditional institutions for the administration of the country since the introduction of pax Britanica (British Law) in the late 19th and early 20th Century as a consequence of colonialism. This role became more enhanced following the amalgamation of the Northern and Southern Protectorates in 1914.
The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice who is the Chief Law Officer of the Federation (by virtue of section 150 of the 1999 Constitution which creates the Office), heads the Ministry.
Historically, it is on record that Nigeria's first Attorney-General in a substantive capacity had already been appointed by 1918, although the most prominent early Attorney-General of the Federation was Sir Donald Kingdom who served between 1924 and 1929. All Attorneys-General were British until the country's independence in 1960 when Professor Taslim Olawale Elias was appointed as the first indigenous Attorney-General and served until 1972. The present Attorney General of the federation and Minister of Justice is Mohammed Bello Adoke, SAN, (CFR) and is the twenty first (21st) indigenous Attorney General of the Federation.