December 22nd, 2017

For embracing scholarship early, his diligence, in­tegrity and commitment in serving society from the temple of justice; for providing critical guidance and direction at the Court of Appeal during his tenure and ultimately providing needed stability in a chal­lenged insti¬tution, Justice Umaru Faruk Abdullahi, CON, is The AUTHORITY IconAccording to the former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Idris Kutigi, “On the Bench, he is ever calm, composed and focused, no matter how difficult the situation.” He was fondly called ‘the peoples justice.’ With good reason, he was regarded by members of the Bar and the Bench as an eminent jurist and fine gentleman. Meet Jus­tice Umaru Faruk Abdullahi, CON, former President, Court of Appeal.He was born into the famous Hambali family known for its ancestral role of judges, on November 30, 1939, in Katsina Town’s Unguwar Alkali Quarters. Young Abdullahi kicked-off his educational career at Kayalwa Primary School Katsina, from 1948 to 1952 and subsequently attended Malumfashi Se­nior Primary then called, Katsina Middle School, from 1953 to 1955. He then attend­ed the Provincial Secondary School (now Government College Katsina) from 1956 to 1961. Thereafter, from1962 to 1963, he in the School of Arabic Studies AbdullahiBayero College Kano and from 1963 to 1964, the Institute of Administration, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria completing his Bar Exams Part II there.Between1964 and 1966, he attended Lin­coln’s INN London, Council of Legal Edu­cation England and was called to the Eng­lish Bar. In 1967 he was at the Nigeria Law School, Lagos, and was called to the Nigerian Bar, enrolling as a member of the Supreme Court in 1968. From1969 to 1973, he joined the Kaduna State Ministry of Justice as Mag­istrate grade II. In the course of time, he rose to become principal state counsel, Ministry of Justice until 1974 when he was appointed Chief Registrar High Court of Justice. He be­came Attorney General from 1975 to 1977.He became a High Court Judge in Kaduna State from1978 to 1983 and joined Court of Appeal in September in 1983 also. With the creation of Katsina State in 1987, Justice Abdullahi was appointed Chief Judge of the new state until 1991 when he returned to the Court of Appeal and became the presiding Justice, Enugu & Kaduna Divisions from 1992 to 1999.He became the President of the Court of Appeal in 1999, serving his country merito­riously and with integrity. He took over from Justice Mustapha Akanbi. Justice Abdullahi served the longest term as President of the Court of Appeal. While on the bench, he adjudicated several electoral cases since the country’s return to democracy in 1999 and, on the whole, himself creditably.Under him, new rules of practice and procedures for the court were made and he facilitated the construction of its headquar­ters within the Three Arms Zone, Abuja. His admirers would always say he is a very un­usual transparent, accountable, democratic, charismatic, amiable and erudite jurist, who was always ready to imbibe the features and traditions of the Bar on the younger ones.A recipient of so many awards which in­clude Commander of the Order of the Niger, CON, Walin Matasan Arewa, Walin Hausa, Fellow, Nigerian Institute of Advance Legal Studies, Fellow, Nigerian Muslim Law Stu­dents Association and distinguished Fellow of Nigerian Law School, he retired from the judiciary in 2009 after about 41 years of dili­gent service.

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