Barrister Hauwa Abubakar Set To Become 3rd Female To Serve As Borno’s Attorney General, Though In Acting Capacity

By Abdulkareem Haruna

Hauwa Abubakar, a female lawyer and legal adviser to Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum, is to act as the state’s attorney general and commissioner of justice pending when a substantive officer is appointed to fill up the vacancy.

The former attorney general and commissioner of justice, now a senatorial candidate, Barrister Kaka Shehu Lawan, has since resigned from the office following emergence as flag bearer.

Barrister Hauwa is coming as the first female to occupy the Borno state attorney general’s office since the return of democracy in 1999.

Governor Zulum’s directive for Ms Hauwa Abubakar to take charge reached her through the secretary of Borno State Government in a letter dated August 11, 2022.

Barrister Kaka Shehu Lawan, who had an impressive record as the longest serving attorney general, having served for about 10 years later became candidate of the APC for Borno Central Senatorial zone, on July 22, 2022, ahead of the 2023 general elections.

The letter addressed to Barrister Abubakar reads this: “I have the honour to convey to you the approval by His Excellency, Prof. Babagana Umara Zulum, FNSE, mi, Executive Governor of Borno State of your appointment as overseeing Honorable Attorney-General and Commissioner, Ministry of Justice with effect from 15′ August 2022.” the SSG said while conveying Zulum’s directive to the legal adviser.

“As Chief Executive of the Ministry and Chief Law Officer of the State, you are expected to advise the Government on all legal matters and work assiduously towards the achievement of Governmental goals. You are also expected to work closely with the Solicitor-General and Permanent Secretary who is the Accounting Officer…” the letter added.

Barrister Hairat Balogun, Lagos first female attorney general

It is not clear if Governor Zulum might do the not very common thing by confirming a substantive portfolio that would elevate the female lawyer from being an adviser overseeing the Borno state ministry of justice to a full-fledged cabinet member.

If that happens Zulum would go on records as the second governor of Borno after Maina Maaji Lawan and of course the second north of Nigeria, after Governor Nasir El-rufai to appoint a woman as state attorney general and commissioner of Justice.

Before Hauwa, Lydia Ngalari and Habiba Wakil were at different times appointed attorney general and commissioners of justice in Borno state.

The legendary Hairat Aderinsola Balogun, née Alatishe, OON, now in her 80s was the first Nigerian female to become Attorney General of Lagos State in 1984.

Female attorney generals are not common in Nigeria reason why their emergence are celebrated. It is on record that the former Ogun state governor, Senator Amosun had in March 2013 appointed a female lawyer as the state’s first attorney general and commissioner of justice in the person of Barrister Mrs Abimbola Ibironke Akeredolu.

In 2015, Governor Nasir El-rufai appointed a female attorney general, Amina Dyeris-Sijuwade as his attorney general who was later replaced in February 2017 during a cabinet shake up, by Umma Hikima, a then Clerk of the House of Assembly. Barrister Ummah Hikima, who was succeeded by the current Attorney General, Aisha Diko on July 12, 2019.

Governor of Edo state Godwin Obaseki had in 2019 appointed the state first female attorney general under a democratic dispensation in the person of Professor Yinka Omorogbe. Edo had earlier had a female who served as attorney general for just about three months during the military era.

With Barrister Hauwa Abubakar being asked to oversee the justice ministry who knows of this would be a stepping stone for her towards joining the league of few female attorneys general.

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