Fare Thee Well Dahiru Musdapher

Dahiru Musdapher (15 July 1942 – 22 January 2018)was a Nigerian jurist. In 2011, he was appointed the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria. He served as Chief Judge of the Kano State Judiciary from 1979 to 1985, and as a member of the Court of Appeal from 1985 until 2003. He was the acting Chief Justice of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

His Early Life

He was born a member of the Bani Ya’muusa clan in Babura Town in Babura, a local government area in the north of Jigawa State.

The progenitor of the clan (his lordship’s great-grandfather), Goni Ya’Musa, was a Fulani scholar, a renowned and respected Islamic jurist and teacher who migrated from the Kanem Bornu Empirein the mid-1800s and pursued a lifelong mission of teaching and Islamic missionary work. The great-grandfather settled in Babura Town, in Jigawa State.Musdapher’s father, Mallam Musdapher Musa – also a renowned Islamic scholar – served as a principal advisor to several District Heads across the Kano Native Authority during the colonial era, for decades before he was eventually enthroned as the District Head of Babura L.G.A. Mallam Musdaher’s father was the first headmaster of the first primary school in Babura. He died in 1993 as the head of a large and respected family leaving behind over 300 children, grandchildren and great-grand children. My Lord Justice Musdapher is the head of this family.

His Education

  • Babura Elementary School, 1950–1953
  • Birnin Kudu Middle School, 1954–1956
  • Rumfa College, Kano, 1957–1962
  • Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, 1963–1964
  • University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies, 1964–1967
  • Inns of Court School of Law (Middle Temple), 1964–1967
  • Nigerian Law School, 1967–1968

His Employment records

  • Private legal practice, 1968–1976
  • Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Kaduna State, 1976–1978
  • Judge High Court of Kano State, 1979
  • Chief Judge, Kano State Judiciary, 1979–1985
  • Justice, Court of Appeal, 1985–2003
  • Justice, Supreme Court of Nigeria, since 2003

His Other employments

  • Regular Contributor/Discussant, BBC West Africa Service (BBC News), 1964–1967
  • Member, Kano Emirate Council (Kano Emirate), 1968–1975
  • Member, Kano Metropolitan Council, 1969–1976
  • Non-Executive Director, National Electric Power Authority Board, 1974–1976
  • Director, Kano Co-operative Bank (now part of Unity Bank), 1972–1976

Attended many conferences both locally and internationally.

His Personal life

He was married to Hajiya Fatimah Dahiru Musdapher (née Suleiman Galadima) with three Children, Khadijah, Kaloma and Suleiman. He had nine grandchildren with Nabil being the oldest and Dahiru Jr (Muhammad) the youngest.

His Hobbies

  • Reading, Scrabble and crosswords
  • Travelled extensively throughout the world.

He departed this sinful world on 22nd of January 2018 joining his great ancestors.  May his soul continue to find comfort in the bosom of his creator.


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