Celebrating women like Hajiya Fatima Kwaku (MFR) will serve as a reflection for the younger generation of the Nigerian Bar. Hajiya is wholly devoted to the general affairs of the Nigerian Bar Association, since she joined the Bar in 1976.
Hajiya Fatima Kwaku (née Fatima Agafi) was born on the 22nd day of October 1949, in Maiduguri, Borno State of Nigeria. She obtained her primary education in 1961 from Hausari Junior Primary School, Maiduguri; and Provincial Girls School, Maiduguri in Borno State, Nigeria.
In 1961, she moved to Holborn House School, Whitton Lodge, Daventry, North Hampton; and West Cornwall School, Penzance, Cornwall both in England, where she obtained her GCE O’ Levels. She equally obtained her G.C.E. A’Levels in 1970 from Kent College, Pembury, Kent, England and Borlands Stutors College, London, England.
Hajiya returned to Nigeria in 1971 and obtained her L.L.B. (Hons) from the prestigious Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Kaduna State, Nigeria and was called to the Bar in 1976. Hajiya was the first female to open and run a law firm of her own in the whole of Northern Nigeria; a firm she established immediately after her National Youth Service in 1977. Till date, the firm is still active.
Aside from active practice in her firm, Hajiya has been engaged in various short and long term engagements with government, non-government and international organisations such as:- Chairperson, Local Government Election Petition Tribunal, Kano State in 1991; Member, Governorship And Legislative Houses Election Petition Tribunal, Kano State in 1992; Member, National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal, Jigawa State in 1992; Chairperson, Local Government Election Petition Appeal Tribunal, Jigawa State in 1997; Member, Judicial Service Commission, Kano State from 1992 to1995; Member, Steering Committee, Family Support Programme (FSP) Trust Fund, Kano State from 1995 to 1996; Member, Governing Council University Of Maiduguri, Borno State from 1983 to 1985; Federal Commissioner/Council Member, National Human Rights Commission, Nigeria from 1996 to 2005; Member; National Consultative and Coordinating Committee for Advancement of Women in Nigeria (NCCC) from 2002 to 2004; Expert, United Nations Committee on the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) from January 2001 to December 2004; Member, Communication Committee of the Optional Protocol to the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women from 2001 -2004.
Hajiya Fatima Kwaku is a member of numerous bodies and committees like:- Life Member, International Federation Of Women Lawyers (FIDA) 1992; Member, FIDA Nigeria and First Chairperson, FIDA Kano Branch 1992 and again from 2006 to 2008; Member, International Bar Association (IBA) from February 1992; Notary Public – March 1994; first female Chairperson, Nigerian Bar Association, Kano Branch from 1998 to 2001; National Executive Member, Nigerian Bar Association, December 2006 to date; Member and Chairperson, NBA Women Forum Council; Member, Body of Benchers of Nigeria, May 2007 to date; Life Member, Body of Benchers of Nigeria in September 2012; Vice Chairperson, Steering Committee Kano Multidoor Court House, 2005 to 2008; Member, Kano State Justice Sector Reform Committee, 2006 to date; First Chairperson, Steering Committee of Arewa Lawyers Forum, 2007 to 2012; Founding Member, Women’s Rights Advancement And Protection Alternative (WRAPA) March 1999; Chairperson, Board Of Directors/Founding Member, Women Health And Development Network (WHADNET); Chairperson, Steering Committee – Northern Women Roundtable (NWR) 2006; Director, Access to Health And Rights Development Initiative (AHRDI); Member, Coalition Of Rights Based Institutions, Kano State; Patron, Kano Law Students Society, Bayero University; Member, Justice Mohammed Lawal Uwais Public Service Award Committee, 2011; Member, General Council of the Bar from 2011 to date; Member, Board of Directors, Prisoners Rehabilitation And Welfare Action (PRAWA) 2009 to date; Trustee, Nigerian Bar Association, 2019; Trustee, International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) Nigeria, 2019.
Hajiya has been the recipient of numerous national awards and recognitions. She was given the award for Outstanding Female Legal Practitioner in 2006 by the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR), Kano Chapter; and also received the Northern Nigeria Woman of Merit Award (NWMA) in 2007. The Students’ Union Government of the Bayero University, Kano equally presented an Award of Excellence (For Distinguished Women of Nigerian Society) to her in 2008.
Hajiya is a widow with 4 adult graduates.
For her continuous service to the Bar and the country at large, we celebrate Hajiya Fatima Kwaku (MFR).
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