How Nasarawa Attorney-General, Kana is championing reforms in judicial sector for efficient administration of Justice

How Nasarawa Attorney-General, Kana is championing reforms in judicial sector for efficient administration of Justice

By Anthony Adgidzi,


Amidst the daunting challenges confronting justice administration, the Nasarawa State Ministry of Justice has come up with aggressive measures and reforms to ensure the masses have access to justice and efficiency in the administration of Justice in the state. Judiciary

One of the measures taken is the rebranding of the laws inherited from Plateau State, which have over stayed their usefulness and required amendments, while other laws had their names changed to match the current realities so as not to end up with antiquated legislation that is no longer effective in the state.      

The pace at which the state ministry of Justice is moving, especially in administering justice to all manner of people, under the watch of Assoc. Prof. Abdulkarim Abubakar Kana certainly proved and Justified his appointment as the Honourable Attorney-General and Commissioner of Justice in the state.

Assoc. Prof. Kana who held-sway as the state Attorney-General from 2018 to date, that is from the administration of Umaru Tanko Al-Makura, set motions in place with a lot of speed to get the state out of the numerous cases that could have crippled Nasarawa State financially.

It is important to note that, in the history of Nasarawa State, Assoc. Prof. Kana reckoned to be the most outstanding longest serving Attorney-General the state had ever had. His logical approach and knowledge to legal issue has not only earned the state many times victory, but has saved it from total collapse and ridicule, considering the billions of naira involved in cases against the state.

Within the period under review, Assoc. Prof Kana initiated some legal reforms and adopted global best practices of law that today placed Nasarawa state in the edge against it contemporaries. In addition to this, Kana led a team of management members of the state Ministry of Justice on a 4-day working visit to Lagos State Ministry of Justice and to some prominent law firms in Lagos, where they replicated the experiences, knowledge and practices in the state.

The ministry being the arrow head of public governance is saddled with the responsibility of checkmating every public institutions and sectors to avoid legal brouhaha, arising from breach of contractual agreements.

It is imperative to state that, the chamber of the state Attorney-General under the led counsel of Assoc. Prof. Kana was able to avert legal tussles and secure victories for the state at both the lower, Appeal and Supreme Courts on some major cases that would have spelled doomed for the state. In the wisdom of the Assoc. Prof. Kana, some of the cases against the state are been negotiated-on on certain terms in favour of the state in principle to avoid financial lost.

There is no gains stating the fact that the appointment of Assoc. Prof. Abdulkarim Abubakar Kana to head the Justice sector from 2018 to date is a huge blessing to the state and its citizens, considering the number of reforms and initiatives he has introduced. This explains why the ministry of justice is not relenting in ensuring that all the strategic plans for the year 2020 to 2023 of the ministry, which was approved by the Executive Governor of the state, Engr. Abdullahi Sule and the ministry’s annual plan for 2021 was strictly followed.

In spite the obvious global pandemic that almost grounded activities in 2020, of which Nasarawa State was not exempted, the ministry of Justice stood out towards attaining it objectives and strategic plan against all odds.

As at today, due to the reforms initiated by the Attorney General, there is no department, units and staff that is redundant, as all heads of departments and units were tasked to follow the ministry’s template logically. Aside from the ministry’s headquarters in Lafia that has undergone renovation, which now wear a new look; Karu, Keffi Nasarawa and Akwanga area offices are not left out in the reforms. In fact, the chamber of the Attorney-General is second to known, when it comes to befitting and conducive working environment.

The state ministry of justice has about 42 state counsels, who are handy to assisting the Attorney-General to decongest the chunk of cases against the state, preparing bills and laws that makes governance in the state more effective and efficient, through legislative processes and backing.

It is worrisome to know that, the cases against the state government keep growing every day, simply because, people sees government as the biggest venture and a target to dupe government through litigations in spite failure to meet up with contractual specifications.

At the moment, in the whole, there are about 3000 criminal, civil and revenue cases spread across the 143 courts in the state, some of which are for the state while others are against the state government.

Being the planetary defender of the state, the ministry of justice in the other hand is working assiduously, where possible to avert some of those cases capable of grounding the state     

Apparently, one obvious fact that remains a challenge, hindering the efficiency of criminal justice system is the multiple defective laws, poor infrastructure as well as religion, cultural, environmental and social factors among others that is affecting justice administration in the state, which Assoc. Prof. Kana and his team of lawyers in the state are trying to correct.

In the efforts to get things right, the state ministry of Justice is closely working with the judicial arm, and with the support of the state House of Assembly to fix the problems confronting the system as well as to amends laws and sections that are so difficult to be implemented, and by the time the aforementioned issues are addressed, it would ensure easy access to justice and efficiency in the administration of Justice in the state.

However, within the period under review, the state government through the doggedness of the Attorney-General implemented the Harmonization Law 2015 for state law officers, which caters for the wellbeing and welfare of lawyers serving with the state, and has ensure all entitlement of state counsel are met with no delay.

In addition to this, State government through the ministry of Justice has organized training and workshops for all the state counsels in the state to keep abreast with the modern legal system and global best practices in case management and effective administration of criminal in the new normal and the use of ICT in legislative drafting among others.

The stance of the ministry and or rather, the state government on the perpetrators of violence acts against women, children and minor in particular is such that anyone found guilty of sexual abuse and child molestation would face life imprisonment, hence the domestication of the Child Rights Law of 2005 by Engr. Abdullahi Sule  in 2020.    

By and large, the ministry of justice is not only instrumental in providing enabling laws that ensures all memorandum of understanding meets the desired objectives of the state as encapsulated in the Nasarawa Economic Development Strategy, playing supervisory role.       

Nasarawa Govt task MDAs on revenue drive

By Anthony Adgidzi

The need for Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies to focus on Human Capital Development for the purpose of economic planning and development growth has been stressed.

The Nasarawa State Deputy Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Akabe stated this during a meeting with the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Human Capital Development and the management of the State Ministry of Justice in his office inn Lafia recently.  

He said, for the government to attain its development goals, the MDAs should use its human resources to advice the government, where necessary, on ways to efficiently generate more revenue to the state.

Dr. Akabe who stressed the need for economic growth, said government would not relent in its drive to meet the needs and aspiration of the people, and this can be possible if the people accord the government the necessary support.

On his part, the State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Professor Abdulkarim Abubakar Kana said, in line with the policy thrust of Governor Abdullahi Sule’s administration, the ministry has established revenue courts in Karu as part of effort to generate revenue to the state.

Professor Kana explained that his ministries have been working in hand with some MDAs on how to remit government generated revenue and a circular has been issued to that effect in order not to shortchange the government in anyway.

He lamented how some MDAs are not adhering to the principles of rule of law and due processes, and assured that, his ministry would continue to do it best in terms of discharging its duties for the overall interest and development of the state.

The commissioner who faulted the manner at which the state government account was garnished at the instance of some aggrieved pensioners, said, being the Attorney General of the state, he was not aware of such development.

He said, with the increase crime rate in the state, efforts was been intensified to persuade criminals to voluntarily lay down their arms to the ministry.

Professor Kana called on MDAs to always contact the ministry on law specifications, especially on issues that has to do with issuing of certificate of contract agreement and guide lines.

He however enumerated some of the challenges confronting the ministry to include, large number of court cases, financial problems ranging from staff matters and accommodation and shortage of manpower.

The meeting which lasted for close to three hours featured question and answer, with all the management of the ministry of justice in attendance further afford the ministry opportunity to give insight on its functions, strength and strategic plan for the next four years.

The senior special assistant to the governor on human capital development, Habiba Balarebe Suleiman who drilled the ministry said Human capital development is the engine room of every government, and one of the most important aspect of growth and development.     

Engineer A.A. Sule Commissions Remodelled Government House Press Centre 3rd September 2020.

Nasarawa State Governor, Engineer Abdullahi Sule, has commissioned the remodelled Government House, stressing that the decision to give the centre a facelift was informed by the desire to provide conducive working environment for inhouse press crew.

Engineer Sule commissioned the press centre at the Government House, on Thursday.

While commending the media for its significant role in propagating activities of government, the Governor noted that support from the media during the past one year, has ensured that the people were adequately sensitized about the policies, programmes of his administration.

“I must say that without the support of the media, our development aspirations would not have been visible,” he stated.

According to Engineer Sule, the media has continued to set agenda in its determination to entrench an all-inclusive governance for the benefit of the people.

The Governor emphasized that his administration will continue to encourage working journalists in the state, towards the discharge of their responsibilities, urging them however, to remain guided by the ethics of the journalism profession.

Engineer Sule warned that government will not condone undue sensationalism, even as he stressed that his administration is open to constructive criticism in the effort to deliver on its mandate to the people of the state.

The Governor disclosed that the remodelling of the Government House Press Centre, was carried out at no cost to the government, as according to him, the centre was refurbished from his personal donation, alongside some of his friends.

“The remodelling of the press centre was not captured in the budget, as such some of my friends and I pooled resources together to give the place a facelift,” he explained.

Earlier, in a welcome remarks, Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Ibrahim Addra, thanked his principal for promptly accepting to give the press centre a facelift.

Addra used the opportunity to appreciate working journalists in the state for being partners in the task of taking Nasarawa State to the next level of development.

Prominent dignitaries witnessed the unveiling of the remodelled press centre, including state Deputy Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Akabe, Director General, Nigerian Television Authority, Mallam Yakubu Ibn Mohammed and members of the state executive council.

Others are heads of media organizations in the state, Lafia LGA and ALGON Chairman, Emir of Lafia, HRH Justice Sidi Bage (rtd), Andoma of Doma, HRH Alhaji Aliyu Ogah and top government functionaries.

Kana @46: Salute to a Scholar, Lawyer, Administrator par excellence

By Anthony Adgidzi

For those in the law profession as well as in the academics, teaching law in public and private Universities across the country, and most especially contemporary lawyers who majored in criminal law will be very familiar with the name Kana.

For the people of Nasarawa State, the word Kana could either be referred to a name of a person (s) or settlements in Kokona and Nasarawa Local Government Areas of the state.

As for the inhabitants of the two villages spread across the country, some of whom were named after their statements, were basically promoting their origin and culture.

It should be noted that, anyone with the name Kana is from Nasarawa and in particular, Kana village, hence the name famously dominates Nasarawa, right from the then Benue/Plateau province to date.

Be that as it may, this piece will not center on Kana village, but on an individual who is, exceptionally different and is doing well in his field of endeavour.

He is a personality of National and International repute who hailed from the Kana village, and has attained the peak of his career at a prime time. He is Abdulkarim Abubakar Kana PhD.

Abdulkarim Abubakar Kana is currently an Associate-Professor of law, a Solicitor and Advocate of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, a Notary Public and the Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice, Nasarawa State.

It is important to note that, Kana is a distinguished personality, a revered jurist, a community leader, an activist of gender equality, a bureaucrat and a technocrat who has excelled above his contemporaries and amidst daunting challenges of the law profession.

There is doubt stating the fact that, he is a dependable and an indispensable lawyer, who addresses issues with utmost humility, hard work and reliance.

Abdulkarim was born on the 19th October, 1974 to the family of Alhaji Abubakar Kana in Obi Local Government in the then Benue-Plateau province, before the creation of Nasarawa State.

Abdulkarim Kana who is a father of four (4) girls, hailed from Kana in Kokona Local Government Area of the state.

In spite his enormous schedules, ranging from the academic, administration, family, with little attention to social life, he was never seen or heard compromising his faith for anything, He is, indeed, a devoted Muslim who observes all his prayers to Allah (SWA).

Due to the career of his father as a civil servant (rtd) and the nature of work, had Kana passed through several primary schools; from Baptist Primary School Keffi in 1978, Ansarruddeen Primary School, west of mines jos, 1979, Central Primary School Nasarawa 1980-1982, S.D.A LEA Primary School, Laranto, Jos in 1982-1983, LGEA Primary School, Gwong, Jos, 1983, Abduzanga Primary School, Keffi, 1983-1985 to Township Primary School, Jos in 1986, where he obtained his first school leaving certificate.

After his elementary education, he gained admission to Federal Government College, Sokoto between 1986 to 1988 and later completed his secondary education at the Federal Government College, Jos from 1988 to 1992 and obtained Senior School Certificate of Education (SSCE).

His quest to acquire Western knowledge earned Abdulkarim Kana admission into the prestigious University of Jos, where he graduated with Bachelor of Law (LL B Hons) in 1999.

Thereafter, he proceeded to the Nigeria Law School, where he was called to, or at Barr in 2001, being a compulsory mandate to become a Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Nigeria and, immediately after completing his Law school, he went for his one year mandatory National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) from 2001 to 2002.

In 2001, the professor of Law acquired and obtained a one year certificate in Computer Application from Korporate Computer Institute in order to make him efficient and effective in service.

Being a senior lecturer in the Faculty of Law, Nasarawa State University, Keffi, Kana had his Master of Laws (LL.M) and Masters in Philosophy (M.Phil) in 2004 and 2011 respectively, while in 2012 he got his Doctor of Law from the University of Jos.

The former Dean in the faculty of Law who became a certified Arbitrator in 2017 and a Notary Public in 2012, however secured a certificate in Anti-Corruption and Human Rights from the American University Washington College of Law (AUWCL) in 2015.

Kana who was called to serve the state and humanity in February 2017 by the former Governor of Nasarawa State, Umaru Tanko Almakura, worked briefly in the private sector before joining the services of Nasarawa State University, Keffi.

He had a test of his professional working experience with Solomon Umoh and Co, Jos from January-May in 2001 before his mandatory National Service, where he served at the Lion Bank Plc as their  Legal officer/In-house Solicitor between 2001 to 2002, thereafter, the bank retained him, holding the same position for just two months in the same year, 2002.

Because of his zeal to become employer of labour and to contribute his quarter to justice delivery, Kana founded his own chamber, named Kana & Co-Progressives Chambers in October 1st 2002. To the academic scholar and professor of law, the month of October is not a coincident, but the will of God that brought in many blessings and prospects in his life.

From thence he picked up appointment with the Nasarawa State University Keffi in 2002 as an Assistant Lecturer, where he rose through the ranks to the Professorial Cadre.

Within the periods of his service in the University, Kana attended 17 international and 2 local professional conferences, published 2 books, 25 articles in journals, 11 conference proceedings as well as 5 paper presentations/workshops. He edited 6 books, journals and proceedings. Aside from this, Kana had on the job training on corruption, economic and financial crime in December, 2004 by the African Diaspora Initiative and ABU Zaria; Legal Drafting organized by the Nigeria Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (NIALS); Damages in International Arbitration organized by Juris Conference in October, 2013 in Washington D.C USA; Incubators and Residency Programme, Touro Law School, New York, USA among many other courses and training he went within the period under review.

Kana who is a visiting lecturer to Nigerian Institute of Legislative and Democratic Studies from 2015 to date, had so far supervised/co-supervised 13 PhD’s and 12 LL.M students.

Professor Kana is a member of many professional bodies and learned societies, some of which included, Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Nigerian Association of Law Teachers (NALT), International Bar Association (IBA), International Association of Legal Ethics (IALE), Africa Law Leadership Forum (ALLF), Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb), member body of Benchers of Nigeria, Judicial Service Commission (NJC) among others.

His appointment in 2017 as member of the State Executive Council (SEC) in charge of water and Natural Resource by the former Governor, where he subsequently took over as the Attorney General was because of the potentials embedded in him to salvage the state from the burden of cases that has put the state in financial jeopardy.

Considering his role during the last administration of Senator Almakura, Governor Abdullahi Sule thought it wise to, not only, bring back such good, competent and capable hands that would meaningful add value to his government, but has reappointed Kana as the State Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice. This alone speaks volume of the capacity in Associate Professor to whither the storm.

Kana who clocked 46 years old on the 19th October, 2020 has rejuvenated the justice system, promoting an efficient system of administration of justice in the state as well as making laws that eases effective delivery of justices.

The uncompressing lawyer who worked and walk through the odd and toughest times in practice, does not believe in haphazard delivery or jungle justice, hence the successes attained within his shortest time in practice.

For those who know him, or whose path have crossed his way would attest to the fact that, Kana is a critical minded being who do not take for granted responsibility given him. Though human, he do not give room for lapses or inconsistencies that will smear his reputation.

Simply put, he is a man of his word, a replica of his father, who is not only steadfast, diligent and dedicated to service, but match his word with action.

There is no gain saying the fact that, Kana being the 10th Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice, since the creation of the state has remarkably justifying his appointment as the Chief Legal Officer of the state.

As a high flying lawyer and a highly placed administrator, who is, also, a thorough bred scholar and a versatile lecturer has written his name in gold serving God, government and humanity. How Kana rose to the position of prominence in the society at 46 can only be said, is God.

From the forgoing, let it be known that the story of Abdulkarim Abubakar Kana cannot be told in one short piece, not even his achievements, failures, challenges can be summed up in a single write up.

However, this is wishing Kana a happy 46th birthday and a more prosperous life in good health.


Nasarawa secures 110 bed isolation centre

Dalhatu Araf Specialist Hospital, Lafia in Nasarawa has secured a one hundred and ten capacity bed isolation centre for treatment and management of Corona virus in the state.

Chief Medical Director of the hospital, Dr.Hassan Ikrama stated this while briefing newsmen in Lafia, the Nasarawa State capital.

Dr. Hassan Ikrama said the isolation centre had been equipped with the necessary facilities to manage patients suspected with COVID 19.

He noted that non availability of ventilators is one of the major challenges at the isolation centre.

No confirmed case of COVID 19 has been recorded in Nasarawa State so far.