Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammed was born on December 31, 1953 at Doguwa – Giade, a local government area in Bauchi State, Northern Nigeria.
He attended Government Secondary School, Azare where he obtained the West Africa School Certificate in 1973 before he later proceeded to Ahmadu Bello University Zaria where he received a bachelor’s degree in Law in 1980. He later obtained a Master and Doctorate (Ph.D) degree from the same university in 1984 and 1998.
Tanko began his law career in 1982, after he was Call to the bar in 1981, the same year he graduated from the Nigerian Law School.
In 1989, 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 at the Bauchi State Sharia Court of Appeal. He served in that capacity for two years before he was appointed to the bench o the Nigerian courts of appeal as Justice in 1993.
He held this position for thirteen years before he was appointed to the bench of the Supreme Court of Nigeria in 2006 but was sworn in on January 7, 2007.