Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Sunusi Musa: The silk fits, by Olanrewaju Onigegewura

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About 30 years after the assassination of John F. Kennedy, an American newspaper conducted interviews to commemorate his death. Almost every respondent to the interview remembered exactly where they were and what they were doing when they heard the news of his assassination. Such is the power of human memory.

For me, one event that I am likely to remember for years to come is the news I received from my sister, Huwaila Muhammed on the night of 29 September 2022. I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing when she broke the news to me: “Onigegewura! Where are you? Have you heard? Sunusi made it!

Sunusi Musa has indeed made it! I did not need to ask Huwaila what Sunusi made. I knew it. He had made the Silk. His name has just been announced as one of the successful 62 legal practitioners to be elevated to the Inner Bar on 28th November 2022. For all of us who are familiar with Sunusi and his passion for legal practice, the honour is befitting and the award is deserving. There is no doubt that the Silk Fits the Man.

If the word ‘dedication’ were to be a human being, I have no doubt that it would have been Sunusi. Here is a man who approaches every assignment he undertakes with single-minded dedication and unparalleled zeal. Sunusi does not know the difference between a minor task and a major duty, everything must be thoroughly done. If this tribute was to be written in a single sentence, it would have been: he adorns not what he touches not.

To Sunusi, legal practice goes beyond being just a profession. For him, it is a calling. It is a passion, and it is a mission. He belongs to the school of thought which upholds the right of every citizen to qualitative justice. I guess that is one of the reasons why he was in the legal team that represented the victims of the infamous Apo Killing which rocked the country to its foundation some years ago. Sunusi told me: “Onigegewura, what are we lawyers for if we cannot represent the indigent, the downtrodden and the voiceless victims of brutality?”

I also believe it is this passion for justice that led to his appointment as a prosecutor before the Medical and Dental Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal. For many years, Sunusi has diligently prosecuted cases before this distinguished tribunal which ensures that professional malpractices in that very important profession of medicine does not go unpunished. In this regard, Sunusi has succeeded in combining the best of the world’s leading two professions: law and medicine, to ensure that justice always triumphs.

Outside of civil rights litigation and medical law practice, Sunusi has also earned his stripes as a veteran practitioner of election petitions. Of course, you recall that newly-minted senior counsel was in the legal team that defended the All Progressives Congress victory at the Kaduna State Governorship Election Tribunal in 2019. This, of course, was in addition to the successes he recorded as a leading member of the legal team that defended the APC victory at the Kano State Governorship Election Tribunal in the same 2019.

Before we eventually met, Sunusi’s fame had preceded him. It was from my brother, Abdul Mohammed Rafindadi, SAN that I first heard of him. Rafindadi would always mention a brilliant young lawyer that I ought to meet. “Onigegewura, you must Sunusi Musa. He is a brilliant and intelligent lawyer. You will like him.” And now, for Abdul Rafindadi SAN, a very brilliant lawyer to affirm the brilliance in another lawyer suffices to tell you about his humility. What’s more, I finally met the famous brilliant lawyer and I thank God it has been a meeting of kindred spirits.

Sunusi is as vast as he is versatile. In addition to his legal certifications which are legion, he also has diverse qualifications in several fields. At the last count, he has attended three leading universities in Nigeria: the University of Benin where he obtained his Masters in Legislative Drafting; the University of Maiduguri where he obtained his Post-Graduate Diploma in Management, and another Post-Graduate Diploma in Education, and of course, Bayero University in Kano where he obtained his first degree in Law.

Learned Silk, Onigegewura congratulates you on this feat! The Silk Fits!

Mr Akinsola is a legal practitioner and historian. He is the Winner of the British Council Professional Achievements Award. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators of the United Kingdom and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria. He holds LL.M Degree in International Economic Law of the University of Warwick, United Kingdom. Onigegewura is the best-selling author of Echoes Across the Niger, and Once Upon a Tale.

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