The day unfolded with eager anticipation, commencing at the Supreme Court complex where fortunate legal luminaries were honored with the prestigious title of Senior Advocate of Nigeria. Dr. Musa Adamu Aliyu, former Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice in Jigawa State and the designated Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), was among the distinguished recipients whose status elevated to the esteemed rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria. Surrounded by well-wishers, Dr. Musa warmly greeted them with convivial embraces, bowing and prostrating amidst smiles and familial pride that permeated the air.
The atmosphere of celebration continued to the venue of the reception luncheon held in honor of the learned silk. Attendees included top figures from the legal bench, state governors, traditional leaders, seasoned politicians, family members, friends, and well-wishers. What was expected to be an exchange of pleasantries, back-slapping, and hugs took an unexpected emotional turn when the Minister of Defence and former Governor of Jigawa State, Alhaji Mohammed Badaru Abubakar, took the podium to pay tribute to the celebrant, who incidentally had served as his Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice. In a mix of restrained tones and heartfelt emotions, the Minister recounted the challenges faced during Dr. Musa Aliyu Adamu’s tenure.
When a man sheds tears, it is not merely the tears that leave a mark, but the underlying grief. Wrapped in an emotional embrace, tears flowed freely as both the Defence Minister and the decorated silk expressed their emotions. The sight of two men shedding tears in what was meant to be a joyous occasion raised questions about the depth of the unspoken bond between a superior and his subordinate. Whatever could stir such deep emotions in a minister of high standing in Nigeria’s political landscape must indeed be profound—a connection akin to that of a ‘father-son’ relationship, evident in the poignant moment when Alhaji Mohammed Badaru Abubakar became emotionally overwhelmed.
This emotional connection is not surprising given Dr. Musa Adamu Aliyu’s reputation as an exceptionally remarkable individual. Descriptions of him include references to humility, an insatiable drive for hard work, and an unwavering commitment to success. His tenure as Attorney General marked significant reforms in the justice sector, including the implementation of a merit-based system for appointing High Court Judges and Khadis of the Sharia and Court of Appeal. His leadership also saw the digitalization of the Jigawa State Ministry of Justice, positioning it as a leading reference in Nigeria’s judiciary. Dr. Aliyu’s legal prowess was evident in his successful representations of the Jigawa state government in various cases, securing favorable outcomes at the High Court, Court of Appeal, and the Supreme Court.
In the face of the challenging Naira Redesign Policy, Dr. Aliyu courageously opposed the policy, distinguishing himself as one of the few States Attorneys-General in Nigeria who challenged the Central Bank of Nigeria at the Apex Court. With a record of excellence, Dr. Aliyu served for nearly five years as a member of the distinguished Body of Benchers, Nigeria’s highest distinction body in the legal profession. He also contributed his expertise as a member of the Council of Legal Education, the Nigerian Bar Association, and played an active role in the Muslim Lawyers Association. Currently, he serves as the Alternate Chair of the Rule of Law and Human Rights Committee of the Nigerian Bar Association.
A dedicated educator, Dr. Aliyu taught law at the Nigeria Police Academy Wudil – Kano and the Jigawa State College of Islamic and Legal Studies. Well-traveled and versatile, he bears the crown of a cosmopolitan Nigerian, earning the admiration of the Governor of Edo State, HE Mr. Godwin Obaseki, who traveled from the heartbeat state to honor him.
Armed with Doctorate and Master’s Degrees in Law from Universiti Utara Malaysia and Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Dr. Aliyu earned his first degree in law from Bayero University, Kano, and completed preliminary studies at the College of Arts, Science, and Remedial Studies. His educational journey began at Central Primary School, Birnin Kudu, before progressing to Government College Bauchi as an exchange program student for his secondary education.
Renowned for his significant contributions to strengthening the administration of justice in Nigeria, Dr. Aliyu has authored and reviewed journal articles, books, and presented papers aimed at enhancing the country’s judicial system. Notable among these contributions is the paper titled “An Overview of the Disciplinary Mechanisms for Sanctioning Judicial Officers in Nigeria,” published in the Obafemi Awolowo University Law Journal. At the Nigerian Law School Kano Campus, Dr. Aliyu presented the paper titled, “Unveiling the Dark Side of Legal Practice: Implications of Misappropriating Clients’ Money by Legal Practitioners in Nigeria in 2023.”
The culmination of diligence, perseverance, and excellence materialized when President Bola Ahmed Tinubu appointed Dr. Aliyu as the Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission. With a mantle of excellence and honors resting on his shoulders, Dr. Aliyu is poised to bring a touch of Midas to his new endeavor.
As Dr. Musa Adamu Aliyu, assumes office as the newly appointed Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), it is that he should usher in transformative reforms. Aliyu should leverage on technology, introducing advanced tools for investigation and monitoring of corrupt practices. Whistleblower protection is a priority, with plans to enhance confidentiality measures and offer legal support. Collaborative efforts with anti-corruption agencies and international bodies should be intensified, bolstering ICPC’s effectiveness. Public awareness campaigns to educate citizens on combatting corruption. Asset recovery initiatives, capacity-building programs, and a focus on proactive risk assessment should underscore Aliyu’s commitment to instigating a comprehensive anti-corruption agenda for ICPC’s pivotal role in Nigeria’s governance.