Gone but Never Forgotten: A Tribute to Alhaji Abdullahi Ibrahim CON, FNIALS, SAN

by Sulaiman Usman, SAN


Innalillahi was ina ilaihin rajiun. May Allah (SWT) forgive our father and eminent leader Alhaji Abdullahi Ibrahim OFR, CON, SAN. May Allah have mercy upon him and grant him Aljannah firdausi, amin. My heart and prayers go out to all members of the Body of Benchers, Body
of Senior Advocates of Nigeria, all members of the legal profession and his family.

The late Alhaji Abdullahi Ibrahim SAN was born on the 14th day of January, 1939 (82 years old), called to the English Bar in 1963 and the following year was called to the Nigerian Bar. He was at different times legal adviser at the then Ministry of Finance, Northern region and New Nigeria Development Company; a one-time Senior State Counsel and head of prosecutions at the Ministry of Justice, Kano State. He was elevated to the prestigious rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria in 1982 and served as member, Privileges Committee of the Bar from 1987 to 1991.

He also served as the Chairman, Legal Aid Council from 1990 to 1994. He was a Notary Public, a Life member of the Body of Benchers and its Vice Chairman and Chairman between 1999 and 2001. He thereafter served as
Chairman, Legal Practitioners’ Disciplinary Committee between 2001 and 2006 and a member of the National Judicial Council (NJC) between 2004 and 2008.

He was a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, Nigeria (FCIArb) and Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (UK (MCIArb); also a Fellow of the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, Nigeria (FINALS).

Alhaji Abdullahi Ibrahim served the nation at various times in severalcapacities as Commissioner for Education in the old Kwara State, Nigeria (1973) in the cabinet of Brigadier General David Bamigboye; Federal Minister of Education, Science and Technology; Minister of Transport and Aviation (1984-1985) in the cabinet of General Muhammadu Buhari and as
the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice (1997-1999) in the cabinet of General Abdulsalami Abubakar. He was a Commissioner, International Boundary, National BoundaryCommission from 2000 to 2006.

He was a member of the Nigerian team
that successfully negotiated the Maritime Boundary Treaty between Nigeria and the Republic of Equatorial Guinea and also the Unitization Agreement of the Zafiro/Ekanga oil fields. He was Nigeria’s Agent and later
Co-Agent in the dispute between the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Cameroon at the International Court of Justice, the Hague Netherlands. Alhaji Abdullahi Ibrahim also led the Nigerian delegation to the United
Nations conference on the establishment of the International Criminal Court.

In acknowledgement of his contribution to the Nation, he was conferred with the National Honour/Award of Officer of the Federal Republic (OFR) and later Commander of the Order of Niger (CON). Alhaji Abdullahi Ibrahim was Chairman, Nigerian Stock Exchange, Kaduna Branch and the first Vice President of the Nigerian Stock Exchange in 1989.

He was Chairman, Nigerian Institute of International Affairs from 1988 to 1994 and also
Chairman of New Nigeria Development Company between 1992 and 1998. He was conferred with honorary Doctorate Degree in Law (LLD, Honoris Causa) by the University of Kogi State, Nigeria in 2008.

Alhaji Abdullahi Ibrahim was a seasoned Arbitrator and a member of the Permanent Court of Arbitration at the Hague, Netherlands. He participated in many national and international assignments geared towards promoting, democracy, rule of law, justice, good governance, ethics and integrity. He served with distinction in the various capacities. His passing is a colossal loss not only to the legal community, but to the Federal Republic of Nigeria will continue to give you strength, grace and
peace during this trying time. He was a radiant and wonderful statesman who enjoyed life to the
fullest.

The truth is every one of us will die. So, what actually matters, in the end, is what we leave before we go. Alhaji Abdullahi Ibrahim SAN, has lived a life well spent. We can only hope and pray that the Almighty God will steady our hearts
and give us ample grace to go through this trying period. May God continue to watch over his family, comfort them and give them strength to bear the irreparable loss.

May the Almighty rest Abdullahi Ibrahim’s soul in eternal peace and grant him Jannatul Firdausi, Amin.

Sulaiman Usman SAN, FICMC, D.L, LL.B (Hons), LL.M (Liverpool),PGC (Texas), is the Honourable Attorney-General & Commissioner for Justice of
Sokoto State.

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