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 settlement, 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 no doubt stating the fact that, he is a dependable and an indispensable lawyer, who addresses issues with utmost humility, hard work and resilience.
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 finally 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, and 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 in 2011 respectively, while in 2012, he got his Doctor of Law from the University of Jos.
The former Dean of the Faculty of Law, former President of Nigerian Association of Law Teachers (NALT), and former Chairman of the Committee of Deans and Directors of all Law Faculties and Law Schools in Nigeria, also became a certified Arbitrator in 2017 and a Notary Public in 2012, and 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. The firm was later rebranded and renamed Kana & Co House of Law. 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 at the University, Kana attended 17 international and many 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 the Nigerian Institute of Legislative and Democratic Studies from 2015 to date and External Examiner at the Federal Polytechnic Nasarawa and is so far supervising/co-supervising/ supervised 13 PhDs and many more 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, Council of Legal Education and formerly Special Counsel to the National Judicial Council (NJC), and member of Nasarawa State Judicial Service Commission (NJC) among others.
His appointment in 2017 as member of the State Executive Council (SEC) in charge of Water Resource and Rural Development by the former Governor was not in error. He subsequently took over as the Attorney General because of the potentials in him to salvage the state from the burden of cases that had put the state in financial jeopardy.
Considering his role during the last administration with Senator Almakura, Governor Abdullahi Sule thought it wise to, not only, bring back such good, competent and capable hands that would meaningfully add value to his government, but has reappointed Kana as the State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice. This alone speaks volume of the Associate Professor’s capacity 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 uncompromising lawyer who worked and walked 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 doesn’t 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 matched his words with action.
There is no gain saying the fact that, Kana being the 10th Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, since the creation of the state has remarkably justified his appointment as the Chief Law 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, it is God.
Being the youngest Commissioner in the cabinet of Governor Abdullahi Sule, Abdulkarim Kana has facilitate the implementation of private, Legislative and executive bills, and has set in motion a sustainable workable template that form the falcrum of Governor Sule’s Government.
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.