By Abubakar Imam
Penultimate Thursday, December 26 2019, was an important date in the recent history of the IEDPU. It was the date delegates to the 54th National Conference of the umbrella socio-cultural organisation of the good people of Ilorin Emirate, the Ilorin Emirate Descendants Progressive Union (IEDPU) elected a renowned law teacher, seasoned administrator and exciting community leader, Oba Yusuf Abdul-Hamid, as her new National Secretary.
His choice was made out of five outstanding alternatives all of whom, but one, are reputable academics. The only one who doesn’t teach is also an high-ranking non-academic staff of a frontline ivory tower.
The election of Abdul-Hamid, who defeated his predecessor and closet rival by 5 votes, made him the fourth “learned man”to emerge as the Chief Scribe of the IEDPU. Other learned personalities who had held the office before him were the late Honourable Justice Saka Yusuf, OFR; Alhaji Shuaib Adisa Ololu and Lawyer Yahaya Kolawole Sa’adu.
The new National Secretary was born to the Abimojesin/Ajongolo family of Popo-Giwa, Ilorin about five decades ago. He had his primary education at the famous Ansarul Islam Primary School, Okemale, Ilorin, from 1974 to 1980 from where he earned his First School Leaving Certificate in flying colours. He proceeded to the Government Secondary School, Ilorin, where he had his West African School Certificate in 1985.
Between 1987 and 1991, the new IEDPU National Secretary was trained as a Lawyer at the prestigious Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife,Osun State.He followed his LL.B degree up with his attendance of the Nigerian Law School, Lagos between 1991-1992 at the end of which he was called to the Nigerian bar. He returned to the same institution from 1995 to 1998 for his Master’s degree in Law. He also earned a Certificate in Computer Data Processing and Management Information System (DPMIS) from the University of Ilorin in 2002.
Prof. Abdul-Hamid was unrelenting in his pursuit of professional and intellectual accomplishments.He went back to his alma mater, OAU Ile-Ife for his M.Phil. degree between 2003 and 2007.
The National Secretary capped his academic credentials with a Ph.D, which he successfully pursued between 2008 and 2012 at the International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
The IEDPU National Secretary commenced his exciting working career as a Legal Adviser to Bali Local Government Council, a position which he effectively combined with been the Principal Counsel, Free Legal Aid Clinic, Bali,Taraba State, as a member of the NYSC. He also engaged in voluntary teaching at the Government Advanced Secondary School at the same Bali LGA between 1992 and 1993 as part of his mandatory national youth service.
He, thereafter, joined the Ayodele, Gafar & Co. a firm of Lawyers, with offices in Ilorin and Lagos, where he worked as a Counsel between 1993 and 1995 as a young lawyer.
Prof. Abdul-Hamid’s love for teaching propelled him to join the services of the Federal Polytechnic, Offa, as a Lecturer. He taught at the frontline Polytechnic between 1995 and 1999.
After three years of very impactful services, he left the services of the Polytechnic for the University of Ilorin. He was engaged as Lecturer II as a law teacher at Unilorin, where he has since then been involved in teaching, research and community services, which eventuated in the production of jurists who are helping in the interpretation of laws towards ensuring the growth and development of the nation; and for which he enjoyed steady career progression.
Before his appointment as the Head of the institution’s Department of Business Law and recently elevated to the exalted rank of Professor (PFQ). The new National Secretary of IEDPU had served the University in various capacities some of which include been the Sub-Dean Faculty of Law,University of Ilorin and Member Staff Promotion Committee, among others. He was also the Legal Adviser and Research Fellow with the National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies (NLDS), National Assembly,Abuja,between 2016-2017 while on sabbatical.
Last Friday (January 3, 2020), in appreciation of his scholarly contributions and administrative capacities in the services of humanity through his employment as a staff of the University of Ilorin, this erudite scholar and distinguished administrator was appointed as the 4th Director, Centre for Ilorin Studies, University of Ilorin. The Centre is a unit of the institution targeted at preserving and projecting the alluring socio-cultural and intellectual heritage of Ilorin Emirate and her neighbours.
This renowned advocate is not new to the IEDPU.He was born into community development services but formally joined the Ilorin Emirate Descendants Progressive Union as a member of her old Ilorin Branch in 1989 while still in school. He proved himself to be a committed and functional member of the organisation whose opinions were always respected because of their profundity. He subsequently served the Union as her National Legal Adviser during the tenure of the late Alhaji Ahmad Hameed, which ran between 2004 and 2008. His usefulness and contributions also accounted for his retention as a Member of the National Executive Council of the Union till his recent election.
Apart from the IEDPU, Abdul-Hamid has also been a member of the Coremates Ilorin, a philanthropic organisation peopled by professionals of Ilorin Emirate origin since 1989. He was between 2002 and 2004 the Vice-President of the Association.
The new National Secretary is, no doubt, a deep and accomplished academic and lawyer. He has published numerous research articles in global , national and local research outlets. He has also attended several national and international conferences where he has presented intellectually and professionally stimulating papers.
To the credit of this great son of Ilorin, he has supervised and currently supervising numerous doctoral theses, several masters dissertations and innumerable undergraduate Long-Essays; and he has also successfully accomplished a number of commissioned projects.
Apart from being a law teacher, he is also an Associate Counsel at Adebayo Adelodun & Co. Ilorin, a firm whose Principal Partner is an accomplished Ilorin compatriot, Alhaji Abdulkadir Adebayo Oba Adelodun, SAN. His patriotism also propelled him to serve as an Adjunct Lecturer at the Kwara State University, Malete,and as a Facilitator at the Ilorin Study Centre of the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN).
Prof. Abdul-Hamid is a member of many professional bodies such as the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), the Nigeria Business Law and Administration Society (NBLAS), the Nigerian Association of Law Teachers(NALT), the Nigerian Computer Society(NCS), the Nigerian Institute of Personnel Management(NIPM) and the Intellectual Research Institute(IRI).
The new National Secretary is married and blessed with children. He is a man of many parts but whose commitment to the Ilorin Project has never been in doubt.
Prof. Abdul-Hamid is, therefore bringing to bear on the administration of the Union his over thirty years experience in community development services as well as his deep knowledge and practice of the law.
It is the conviction of members of the IEDPU the world over that with Prof.Abdul-Hamid as the Chief Scribe, the Union would be better positioned to serve the good people of Ilorin better.
Imam is the IEDPU National Publicity Secretary