Coming Friday, March 18, all roads lead to the ancient town of Ilorin as an outstanding son of the soil Dr. Mohammed Alimi Abdulrazaq will be turbaned as the Mutawali of Ilorin by the Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari.
For followers of Ilorin Emirates and indeed Kwara’s socio-cultural and political history, the name Abdulrazaq commands respect for its outstanding feats in community and national development, rich noble ancestry, and positive influence.
At the coronation to be witnessed by the creme de la creme from across Nigeria, Dr. Alimi will be stepping into the impeccable shoes of his illustrious father and first lawyer in the entire northern region Alhaji AGF AbdulRazaq SAN who was the first Mutawali of Ilorin. The late billionaire lawyer was also the President of the Nigerian Stock Exchange.
Mutawali, meaning the “Chancellor of Exchequer” (Minister of Finance) of the Ilorin Emirate, is one the most exalted in hierarchy of titles in the courts of the northern Emirates. Some eminent Mutawalis include the late President Musa Yar Adua of Katsina Emirate; the Mutawallin Gwandu, Governor Bagudu of Kebbi; the Mutawalin Sokoto, Governor Aminu Tambuwal; and Mutawalin Borno, Kashim Imam, who is Chairman of TetFund.
The traditional significance of the Mutawali title perfectly depicts the eminent standing of Dr. Alimi, a legal scholar who was not only the first holder of PhD in law from the Emirate but is also known for his exemplary conduct, philanthropy and sterling contributions to socio-political development of the Emirate and nation in general.
Alimi, elder brother to the incumbent Governor of Kwara State AbdulRahman Abdulrazaq, is a shrewd businessman, accomplished lawyer, administrator and notable lover of education. He is the founder of the prestigious Bridge College Ikoyi Lagos and managing partner of AbdulRazaq (SAN) & Co.
He was educated at Ahmadu Bello University, where he earned his law degree, and is an alumnus of University of Hull in UK, where he did his LLM and PhD in Law, both between 1982 and 1986. He’s an alumni laureate of the Hull University.
Alimi is also famous for his PhD thesis on Human Rights Protection in Africa, a groundbreaking scholarly work that formed the framework for the establishment of the African Court of Human Rights. He sits on the board of several blue chip companies. He is on the board of First Bank Holdco Plc. He was also the PDP governorship candidate in Kwara State in 1999.
Alimi is married to Mrs. Kafayat Foluke AbdulRazaq, who was first female Commissioner of Finance in Lagos State, a former non-executive director of Julius Berger Plc, and is currently Group Vice Chairman of Transcorp Nigeria Plc.