Musa Abdullahi Lawan is a renowned Kano-based legal practitioner, he is the incumbent chairman of the Nigeria Bar Association, NBA Kano Branch.
In this interview with Blueprint Achiever’s Profile, he disclosed how he narrowly missed becoming a media practitioner, noting that his life dream was to become an icon broadcaster.
Abdullahi Lawan said the number of registered lawyers total about 1,400(one thousand four hundred) practicing in Kano which according to him is meager when compared to the millions of persons residing in the ancient city and its environs. He though explained that legal practice is good business.
He dismissed the incarceration of accused persons under flimsy excuses, stating that in some cases the system has failed to protect those it ought to have protected.
In summary, provide our readers with an insight into your background?
My name is Barrister Musa Abdullahi Lawan, I was Born on the 25th March 1971 in Fagge LG. My father is Alhaji Musa Abdullahi, he retired as a chartered accountant. I attended Festival Primary school, in Fagge Local Government , when my family moved to Tarauni quarters in Tarauni LGA, there I completed my primary education at Magwan Primary school, then proceeded to St Thomas Secondary School, on completion of my secondary school education, I got admitted into College of Arts and Remedial Studies popularly known as CARS, where I undertook my IJMB, fortunately, I succeeded in been admitted into the Faculty of Law Bayero University Kano(BUK) to study law.
What transpired after you graduated from BUK?
I started practicing as a lawyer in the year 2001, that was when I joined a reputable law firm called H S. Garun Gabas. Later on, I joined Umar and co, in the year 2009 I opened my law office and today here we are, Allah is great.
Since you opened shop as a practicing lawyer, how would you describe your achievements?
Practice has been good to us, in the year 2006, I was elected as PRO NBA Kano branch, I served in that position for two consecutive terms , I once served as the secretary NBA Kano branch, likewise I had served in various committees, until 2018, when I got elected as the state Chairman NBA Kano branch.
I have been active not justice in practice, but also in NBA politics.
Do you sometimes feel like you have chosen the wrong profession in life?
During my earlier days, I never dreamt of becoming a lawyer, I had always nursed the ambition to become a journalist, become a journalists because we wanted to be like those newscasters we saw on NTA, when I wrote IJMB, it would interest readers that my first choice was Mass Communication, then my second choice was law.
All the way, today am proud to be a successful lawyer, note that the law profession is a profession that makes you go into various other professions. Law is a lucrative business, that is only if you are up and doing as a lawyer, you start up by earning meager money, in the first five years you shape your future, within the period just stated above , you are expected to improve on how you dress to work and how you handle cases too, today we have lawyers who are very very successful.
You said legal practice is good business, is this statement referring to what obtains in Kano state where you practice your trade?
In Kano NBA, we have over 700 registered lawyers same with Ungogo Branch, meaning in Kano state we have say 1400 registered lawyers, where compared to Lagos state which has over 15,000 registered lawyers, let me state that in Kano I charge N10.000,00(ten thousand naira) to offer consultancy, while in Lagos state you can not get same service from a lawyer for less than N100,000,00,(hundred thousand naira) in Kano people only value our services, when only they are in custody or when they are about to lose a precious property, they start scampering here and there to secure the services of a lawyer.
Despite all your achievements, there must be some nasty transactions or mistakes you made in the past?
I recall when I was a lawyer with H .S Garun Gabas, a client came to our office, he explained that he had a plot of land for sale, at the cost of N2 million, he came along with a buyer, I asked them if they had undertaken all the necessary investigations to authenticate how genuine were the documents, both parties said they were satisfied and wanted me to go ahead and draft an agreement, I did so and the buyer paid N1.5 million upfront on agreement that the balance would be paid after 30 days, the seller after 30 days elapsed did not turn up as agreed, the buyer showed up and paid the balance, the paid balance was kept in our possession waiting for the seller to show up. Then later the buyer came claiming that the land deal was a scam, that he commenced the development of the land, the true owner of the land showed up claiming that the C of O given to him was forged, I was absolved of any fault, since I did not introduce the parties to each other.
Funny enough, one day, I went to see one of our client at the popular Kano Kanti Kwari textile market, I sighted the notorious land fraudster negotiating another land deal worth N4,000,000.00,(four million naira) I approached him, he immediately went on his knee pleading with me, I quickly invited the police, to the scene.
How would you present your achievement in the Kano legal industry?
I Have contributed immensely within the time frame that I opened my office, five lawyers have passed through my office, they are now on their own and the good news is that, they are doing pretty well in the industry and presently there are those who are on my payroll, am optimistic that soonest many more would graduate into the industry through me.
How can mediation be of help to commerce?
Mediation is good for businesses, you know why, our courts are overloaded, one can’t get judgment within reasonable time frame, the business community should concentrate on utilizing mediation processes in resolving their disputes, mindful of the fact that mediation process leads to a win -win situation.
Aside the banal legal attire, how do you like to dress?
I like casual wears, when am not on my legal attire, I prefer casual wears.
You have confessed that law was not your first choice, does journalism now serves as your hobby?
Am football fanatic, I use the game to keep body and soul together, so I like to play table tennis these are my hobbies.
Which is your favorite color?
My favorite colour is Brown .
Do you like food?
Yes , why not, When am hungry, I eat anything edible, though my favorite is tuwon shinkafa and miyan taushe.
What is it that you so despise?
I get spurn, when been taken for granted. Same with whenever Nigeria losses a football match, I jut have to control my temper, accommodate the pains and move on with life.
I am disgusted, when people are sent to prison on flimsy charges, why because they can not protect themselves and have no one to protect them, then the system that is supposed to protect them refrain from protecting them, I feel bad for this.
You did not ask me about my family, I am married to my beautiful wife Hajiya Amina Bala Sani, she is a vice principal.
It is important to mention that I run a football club as my pet project, with this project the youths are taught to be disciplined, encourage them to shun anti societal vices and equally provide them with vocational skills alongside some funds to support some of them to pursue their studies.
Thank you for your time.
You are welcome, Blueprint counts among my favorite national dailies.