Hon Justice Zainab Adamu Bulkashuwa is a foremost African Jurist, a legal icon and encyclopaedia of sort. She is the substantive President of the Appellate Court in Nigeria. The Nigerian bar and bench are unanimous that the impact and contribution she has brought to bear on the Nigerian Judiciary in the last four years in the saddle is remarkable and legendary.
Down the memory lane, in November 2012, Hon Justice Bulkachuwa was appointed Acting President, subsequently elevated to the zenith of the Appellate Court on the 17th day of April 2014, when she had a date with history emerging the first woman in the legal annals of Nigeria to emerge the President of the Court of Appellate, becoming the 6th in the linage of Presidents of the Court of Appeal. The Nigerian Court of Appeal is by far the largest in Africa with enormous responsibilities.
The Court consist of about eighty seven Justices sitting in (16) sixteen division across geopolitical zones of the country. The 17th day of April 2018 will mark her fourth year at the helms of affairs.
In her own words, “my appointment is hierarchical, all things being equal, however most importantly, is a call to duty am always willing to serve my father land where and when it matters most, in practical terms my assumption as the (PCA) President Court of Appeal is mere walking a familiar turf” the PCA stated sometimes in a chart with our editors.
Indeed, for this legal Icon calling the shots at the Court of Appeal is tantamount to a leisure walk on familiar turf and terrain on account of her antecedents. She served as: Magistrate 1, Senior Magistrate 1 and 2, Chief Magistrate, Grade 2, in the Kaduna State Judiciary from where she proceeded to Yale University as a visiting Scholar for three months. On her return to her post as a Magistrate 1, in the Bauchi State Judiciary in due course she was appointed in succession Deputy Chief Registrar, and Acting Chief Registrar. She was duly sworn in as a full fledge Judge of the Bauchi State High Court in 1987. Following the creation of Gombe State, she was sworn in as the pioneer Chief Judge, her footprints in the planning, organising and administration and erection of lasting structures for the nascent Gombe state are indelible.
Hon Justice Bulkachuwa was elevated to the Court of Appeal in 1998 borne out of her tenacity, integrity and excellence she served at various divisions of the court between the year 2005 and 2012. Her four years as President of the Appellate court is very significant in terms of reforms and welfare, she has been widely rated to have performed above average. The Appellate Courts are better equipped than ever before, lots of attentions are paid to due process, expedited trials, arbitration and jurisprudence.
Born 6th March, 1950 into the prominent family of Alhaji Abubakar Gidado El- Nafaty and Hajiya Aishatu Dudu El-Nafaty. Her father was a famous educationists and ace broadcaster and a contemporary of the late Prime Minister of Nigeria, Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa while also he was one of the founders of Jama’atu Nasrul Islam Nigeria. The Young Zainab had her early education at Tudun Wada Primary School, Kaduna; Queen Elizabeth School (WASC), Ilorin, the Abdulahi Bayero College, Kano (HSC), from where she gained admission into the Prestigious Ahmadu Bello University Kano for her Bachelor’s degree in Law (LLB).
She was called to the Nigerian Bar on the 3rd of July 1976. She is a strong advocate for Girl Child education and Gender non – discrimination: resilient, sharp- witted, blunt to a fault, firm and resolute in dispensation of Justice without fear or favour.
Zainab Adamu Bulkachuwa is happily married with children who have distinguished themselves in distinct human spheres.
By Isreal Balogun