By: Shuaib Abdulkadir
Dr. Ali Ahmad, the Speaker of the Kwara State House of Assembly, since his foray into active politics some years back has spent the last six years in the task of making laws for good governance of Nigeria.
Four of those years were as a member of the House of Representatives and since the last general elections he has been a member of Kwara State House of Assembly and as its speaker. Ali Ahmad’s contributions as a member and Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Justice have continued to attract applause and commendations even years after he left the green chamber of the National Assembly.
Only recently, the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies, Abuja honoured Rt. Hon. Dr. Ali Ahmad for sponsoring the Administration of Criminal Justice Bill in the House of Representatives and personally coordinated the legislative work that led to the passage of the Bill as a member of the 7th Assembly representing Ilorin East/South Federal Constituency.
The programme which was held with the support of John D.& Catherine T. Mac Arthur Foundation had other several individuals who also directly or indirectly contributed to the passage of the bill as awardees.
The awardees included the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo SAN, immediate past senate president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Senator David Mark, former Attorney Generals and Chief Justices of the Federation, Chief Akin Olujimi SAN and Chief Bayo Ojo SAN, Chief Judge, Federal Capital Territory, Justice Ishaq Bello, D. D Dodo SAN among others.
As the chairman, House Committee on Justice between 2011-2015, Rt. Hon. Dr. Ali Ahmad took up the challenge thrown at him by the position and seized the opportunity to contribute positively in overhauling the nation’s criminal procedure system.
As an individual who believes that nothing is impossible, he made bold to sponsor the ACJ against all odds and worked effortlessly for its passage. Being a lawyer, Ahmad not only strongly believes in the Judiciary but has always been at the forefront to ensure the system continue to discharge its duties responsibly.
The Speaker of the Kwara State House of Assembly is among few Nigerians with the conviction that anything worth doing at all worth doing well. This aptly justifies why he served not only his Ilorin East/South Federal Constituency very well, but the entire nation meritoriously at the House of Representatives.
Those who know Dr. Ali’s antecedents in legal and public service will not be surprised that he was a foot soldier in the task of giving Nigeria a new ACJ to deepen and fast track the process of dispensation of justice.
At different times he was a teacher of budding lawyers at the Bayero University, Kano and University of Ilorin where he was at a point Dean of Law at the Institution’s Law Faculty.
As a former Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice in Kwara State, coupled with his vast experience in public service while serving in several offices in Kwara State, Dr Ali maximised the four years opportunity he had at the National Assembly to the admiration of his Constituents.
Though, he was not the first lawyer to head the Committee on Justice at the Green Chamber the indelible marks he left in the sand of time, undoubtedly set high records for his predecessors to surpass.
The realisation of the bill passage undeniably had made his name to be remembered for as long as the nation still uses her constitution having been operational and greatly assisting in prosecution of criminal cases.
Unlike several of his colleagues who were busy amazing wealth throughout their four years at the House of Representatives, Ali Ahmad was resolute to do something great for his country and achieved tremendously.
Many at times people find it difficult to believe he is no more at the National Assembly.
Meanwhile, the former House of Reps member is not the type who would spend millions of naira to make noise on little efforts like a typical Nigerian politician does, he works silently and left posterity to judge him.
He is indeed a blessing to his constituency, Kwara State and Nigeria as a whole.
His achievements in the 7th Assembly forced many Nigerians to eventually realise his qualities and intellect. Little wonder then retired Chief Justice of the Federation, Justice Aloma Mukhtar described his achievement as “unprecedented and a revolution in the nation’s criminal justice administration”.
However, despite leaving the House of Representatives to answer the clarion calls to serve his state at the House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Dr. Ali Ahmad has continued to rally support from his speakers colleagues for the domestication of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act in all states of the federation. He hosted the Speakers Conference to a 3-day programme in 2016, barely after his one year in office to enlighten and sensitise them about the bill and its benefits.
The programme was well attended and several state has since been working on having the bill domesticated.
Similarly, Rt. Hon. Dr. Ali Ahmad did not stop at that as he has been promoting the bill on invitations by several institutions, organisations and associations to deliver lectures on importance of the bill and its applicability to Nigeria as a society.
In spite of the fact that he had left the Green Chamber since 2015, accolades have not stopped been poured on him for his zeal, determination, dedication and commitment to the legal profession and judiciary.
Among other several honours he has received are from the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Ilorin Branch, Liberty Chambers, Faculty of Law, University of Ilorin, Hall of Grace (HOG) Awards, Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Oyo Branch, Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Correspondents’ Chapel, Osun State, Northern Students Presidential Forum, ABU Zaria, Engineering Students Representatives Council, Yaba College of Technology, Lagos.
It is worthy of note to also point out Ali Ahmad’s deep commitment to equity, justice and sustenance of democracy in the country while his inspiring and enviable transformative leadership skills exhibited over the years has remained unrivalled. Therefore, the recognition and several accolades coming his way cannot but said to be merited and adding more feathers to his fitted cap.
Shuaib Abdulkadir is the Special Assistant on Media to the Speaker, Kwara State House of Assembly.