AB Mahmoud SAN NBA President Elect 2016 -2018

AB Mahmoud SAN                           Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) President Elect 2016 -2018


AB Mahmoud SAN has emerged the president of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) following his victory in the historic national election held on 30th and 31st of July, 2016. It’s a new dawn for the NBA with the successful conduct of its election using electronic voting.

Enter AB Mahmoud SAN

AB as he is popularly called holds a Bachelor of Laws and Master of Laws degrees from the prestigious Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. He was admitted to the Nigerian Bar in July 1980. He worked for 15 years with the Kano State Ministry of Justice rising from the position of pupil counsel to Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice.

AB cofounded the law firm of Dikko & Mahmoud in 1993 and was elected the chairman of the NBA Kano Branch the same year.

AB has been in active legal practice for over 35 years and was elevated to the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), the equivalent of the British QC in 2001.

AB has a rich resume and has in his kitty the following amongst others; Certificate in Corporate Law and Business from the North Western University Chicago (2002), Certificate in Techniques of Privatization from the Institute of International Development at Harvard University (2000), Diploma in International Commercial Arbitration of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators UK from Keble College, University of Oxford and fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.

He is a Life Bencher, member of the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee (LPPC), pro-chancellor of the Kano State University of Science and Technology and Vice-Chairman of the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

He is also married to Justice Patricia Mahmoud, the acting Chief Judge of Kano State and they are blessed with 5 children and a grandchild.

The NBA; A Brave New Bar

AB’s candidacy was anchored on the theme of building “A Brave New Bar”. His campaign manifesto (read here) was resplendent with lofty plans of action for the restoration of the NBA to its premier status. The task is difficult but AB seems well prepared.

Before this year’s election, I had asked a senior female colleague who was her preferred candidate for president and she said AB. I was curious and asked why. she had replied that

“AB is himself a victim of the system and I expect him to do what is right and not do like the others who have been doing the ‘right thing'”

I was curious and asked her what she meant and she explained that AB’s wife Justice Patricia Mahmoud had been a victim of institutional injustice as a Judge in the Kano State judiciary. She was denied several promotions because she is not from Kano State but her husband is from Kano State. Even though she was later appointed acting Chief Judge, she is yet to be confirmed as the substantive CJ more than a year later.

“So you see a victim of such injustice would likely fight for a better system and do what is right and not do the ‘right thing’ . Again doing the ‘right thing’ in Nigerian parlance  could mean doing the bidding of godfathers or cabals and even corrupt acts but doing what is right is  being just and good”

Of course that shows that the expectations of Nigerian lawyers are higher than that of Nigerians when Buhari won the presidency. AB cannot afford to fail.

We send our hearty congratulations to AB and the rest of the successful candidates while toasting to their success. We also commend the NBA Electoral Committee for the successful conduct of this year’s election. We also hope the lapses witnessed in this year’s election would be corrected in subsequent elections.

It’s a Brave New Bar, we asked for it and that we shall get.

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Maduka Onwukeme is an Attorney, Creative Writer and Business Consultant. Follow him on Twitter, on Facebook or on Linkedin