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Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Tribute to an imitable young lawyer, Abdurrahman Shuaibu Balarabe

Tribute to an imitable young lawyer, Abdurrahman Shuaibu Balarabe

By Haruna Saleh Zakariya

It has been a week without Abdurrahman. I am writing while my eyes are full of tears. I am not only crying because we lost him but also because of my personal knowledge of who he was.

While I continue to pray for the soul of our departed ones, let me share with you a peep view into the journey of the 32-year-old late promising young lawyer.

Danbala, as he was fondly called, came from a humble family of Qur’anic scholars. His father forbids his children from enrolling in any Western Education.

Abdurrahman, like his other siblings, went to different villages and towns in search Islamic knowledge as an Almajiri. His dedication to seek Islamic knowledge was beyond the thoughts of many until his death. Even then, he distinguished himself from other students, so easy going, always looking clean, tidy and neat. He also informally learned how to read and write without being distracted from the itinerant Islamic system of education.

He was attracted to many people who treated him like their biological son and stood as a guardian to him in different circumstances.

He voluntarily registered himself and passed WAEC, JAMB, and got admission to read Law at Bayero University, Kano. He was so self-reliant and involved in so many menial jobs to feed and cloth himself. Midway to his studies, he was infected with a chronic hepatitis, an ailment that troubled him up to his law school days in Enugu Campus.

As God would have it, he was eventually called to the Nigerian Bar and registered as a lawyer, an event that was widely celebrated even outside his immediate family. Abdurrahman indicated his interest to work in our modest law firm and we accepted him without hesitation. He was fully spirited and ready to learn the lawyering job.

His interest, commitment, and dedication were beyond imagination. He would say, sir, allow me to build this case right from writing demand letters, drafting pleadings, and filing, a request which I always grant. He was very religious, contented and appreciative with the little that came his way.

Alas, while in his second year in our office, the deadly hepatitis stuck again! He was hospitalized for many days and was diagnosed to be suffering from chronic liver disease that resisted all forms of treatment.

He became anaemic and was subjected to several clinical procedures, including blood transfusion and sessions of dialysis. Lawyers in Kano have shown their deep concern.

His constituency, the Kano Young Lawyers’ Forum; the leadership of the Nigerian Bar Association, Kano Branch; clients, and many others have supported him financially and spiritually.

He also left many legacies, most of which are not mundane. He was a modest man who had lived a life with virtues. He was intelligent, morally upright as well as honest, generous flexible and and easy torelate with.

Innalillahi Wa Inna Ilaihi Raji’un!

Abdurrahman breathed last on Wednesday, 7th June 2023 at around 11 pm. leaving behind his mother, daughter, and wife. His death is not a great loss to his immediate family only but also to the legal profession, friends and the entire society.

Of course, his good attributes are worthy of emulation.


Haruna Saleh Zakariyyah is the principal of Monument Attorneys where the late Abdurahman practiced.


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