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Justice Ahmed Lemu Dies At 91: 10 Things To Know About The Late Islamic Scholar

A renowned Islamic scholar and retired justice, Ahmed Lemu, died on Thursday.

He died at the age of 91 in Minna, Niger State.

His son, Nurudeen, announced the death on behalf of his family.

“It is with sadness and reverence to Allah that we announce the passing away of our father, Dr. Justice Sheikh Ahmed Lemu OFR, in the early hours of this morning in Minna. Burial arrangements to be announced later,” he said.

Lemu is one of the two Nigerians who have won King Faisal Prize.

He chaired the Presidential Panel on Post-Election Violence in Nigeria in 2011. He was also a member of the Nigerian Council of Religions, the Presidential Council for Youth Development, and various other national committees and councils.

Born in Niger State, Sheikh Lemu started his career as a teacher under the Bida Native Authority. He was a principal of two famous centers of learning in northern Nigeria: the School for Arabic Studies (SAS), Kano; and the Arabic Teachers’ College, Sokoto.

Lemu also served in the Judiciary, first as a Shar’ia judge at the Court of Appeals in the States of Sokoto and Niger (1976 – 1977), then as Chief Shar’ia Judge at the Court of Appeals in Niger State (1976 – 1991).

10 Things To Know About Late Justice Ahmed Lemu

Justice Ahmed Lemu died on Thursday morning at the age of 91.

A family member, Maryam Lemu, announced this on her Facebook page Thursday morning.

“Inna lillahi wa inna liayhi raji’un. It is with sadness and reverence to Allah that we announce the passing away of our father, Dr. Justice Sheikh Ahmed Lemu OFR, in the early hours of this morning in Minna.

“Burial arrangements to be announced later,” she said.

Below are few things you should know about the late Islamic scholar:

1. Dr. Shaikh Ahmed Lemu was born in Lemu (Niger State), Nigeria, on 21/12/1929.

2. He received his early education at the Quranic School in 1932, followed by the elementary school (1939), then the intermediate school (currently the Government College) in Lemu, from which he obtained his intermediate school certificate in 1948. Thereafter, he joined the School of Shari’a Law (currently the School of Arabic Studies) in Lemu from which he obtained Middle (1950) and High (1952) Teachers’ Certificate (Level Two) in Arabic Language, Islamic Studies, Shari’a Jurisdiction and General Education.

3. In 1954, he went to the United Kingdom to study at London University’s School of African and Oriental Studies. He obtained the certificate of General Education (Advanced Level) in History, Arabic, Hausa and Persian Languages in 1961, and Bachelor’s Degree (Honors) in African and Oriental Studies in 1964.

4. Lemu served in the field of education for more than half a century, during which he undertook various teaching and educational responsibilities. He started as a teacher of Arabic language, English language and Islamic studies at the Government Secondary School in Bida between 1953-1960. In 1960, he became senior teacher of Arabic Language, Islamic Studies and Education, and supervisor at the School of Arabic Studies in Kano, then Director of the school and Deputy Director of Government Secondary Education in 1965. He became Dean of the Arabic Teachers’ College in 1966, Senior Inspector of Education in 1970 and Chief Inspector of Education for Sokoto State in North West Nigeria between 1971 – 1973. He also served as Technical Director (1974-1975) and Director of Educational Planning (1975-1976) in the State. In 2009, he was appointed Consultant at Fountain University in Osogbo, Nigeria.

5. In addition to his major role in teaching and education, Lemu has also served in the Judiciary, first as a Shar’ia judge at the Court of Appeals in the States of Sokoto and Niger (1976 – 1977) then as Chief Shar’ia Judge at the Court of Appeals in Niger State (1976 – 1991).

6. Dr. Shaikh Ahmed Lemu has also made significant contributions towards official efforts pertaining to security, reconciliation and dialogue during security challenges in Northern Nigeria. He was a member of the Nigerian Council of Religions, the Presidential Council for Youth Development, the Presidential Experts Committee for National Security and various other national committees and councils.

7. Lemu was a renowned Islamic scholar, known and respected by West African Muslims and throughout the Islamic world. He was a composed intellectual, a devout Muslim and an advocate of moderation, justice and open-mindedness. He was also a strong supporter of women’s rights. His relentless efforts to advance Islamic education, development and Da’wa (call to Islam) are evident from his publications, countless lectures, seminars and classes, and active participation in national, regional and international Islamic conferences and events.

8. He was a member of several international Islamic organisations worldwide, and author or editor of many books and school references which aim, along with his lecturers and classes, to promote and re-enforce the proper understanding of Islam and expand knowledge of the Islamic creed.

9. He was also known for his deep involvement in Islamic humanitarian activities. He is the Founder and President of the Islamic Education Trust in Nigeria and a member of several other humanitarian societies and endowments that serve Muslims in his country.

10. Lemu’s immense contributions have earned him several prizes and accolades, including, among others, the Prize of Merit from the Government of Niger State in 1991; the Nigerian National Order by former Nigerian President Abdulsalami AbuBakar in 1999 and former Nigerian President Obasanjo in 2001; Honorary Doctorate Degree from Uthman Danfodiyo University (1996); Honorary Doctorate Degree from Osogbo University (2011) and Honorary Doctorate Degree from Al-Hilal University (2013).

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