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Justice Fati Lami Abubakar

Justice Fati Lami Abubakar, CON, former chief judge of Niger State, and founder, Women’s Rights Advancement and Protection Alternative (WRAPA), has retired from the services of Niger State government, recently, at the age of 65, as CJ. A legal luminary and trail blazer, she was the first female solicitor general and permanent secretary in Niger State, the first female attorney general and commissioner of justice, the first female high court judge, and the first female chief judge in the state. The wife of former head of state, Gen Abdulsalam Abubakar, she performed an act of fate last year when she swore into office her son-in-law, Dr Abubakar Sani Bello, as the governor of Niger State. She has an impressive record of legal practice: she has worked as chief inspector of Area Courts with the defunct North Western State government and as private attorney and state counsel with Federal Ministry of Justice, Lagos, Kaduna Sate Ministry of Justice, Kano State Ministry of Justice, and Niger State Ministry of Justice. She became CJ in June 2013. She had served in several ad hoc bodies, among them the Constituent Assembly from 1988 to 1989 and the Committee on Fraud and Malpractices in Banks and Financial Institutions from 1989 to 1992. Filled with the milk of human kindness, as CJ for three years, she released no fewer than 143 inmates languishing in various prisons all over the state without any hope of trial. Her achievements in the state judiciary were enormous; during her relatively short tenure, she instilled discipline in all categories judiciary staff, including enforcing a dress code among them. She tried to close the gap in the bench, which has affected the quick dispensation of justice in the state, by appointing five new high court judges and furnishing their offices according to the standard specified by the National Judicial Council. A woman of integrity, she has a pleasing depth of abilities, which includes deep compassion for women, children and the weak. She is obsessed with decency and dignity, a toga she has continued to wear till today. She abhors tardiness and was unapolegetic on the principles of conduct, such as honesty, integrity, and selfless service. Dedicated to humane and philanthropic values, she detested negative stereotypes about women and was also totally committed to the promotion of women values and potentials, the reason she founded WRAPA, the non-profit organization. The unsung heroine and mother of Nigerian democracy,as former first lady of Nigeria, she was a huge influence on her husband, Gen Abdulsala, through her constant prayers, encouragement and persuasion thathe returnedthe country to democratic rule in 1998.
Profile by Ndama Abubakar and Uthman Siraja