Abdul Aminu Mahmud

sitting in his backyard at his Farnham Royal, England home December 2018

Abdul Mahmud is a Nigerian lawyer, social critic, columnist, human rights advocate, knowledge worker, essayist, poet,[1] former Students' union leader and activist. He is currently the President, Public Interest Lawyers League (PILL), a body of professional and independent group of lawyers committed to the promotion and enforcement of the rights of vulnerable and minority groups, deepening of democracy and governance and the expansion of public interest law.[2] He is a third-generation Nigerian poet whose works appear under the nom de guerre, Obemata. Some of his poems have also been translated into Polish, Lithuanian and French languages.

Early life


Abdul 'Aminu' Mahmud was born in Bauchi, Northeastern Nigeria on 20 November 1968. He is of Hausa descent. He was educated at Federal School of Arts and Science, Ondo State and the University of Jos, Plateau State where he obtained his Bachelor of Laws, LL.B (Honours), then proceeded to the Nigeria Law School for his Master of Laws, LL.M.

Student Activism & Prison

Abdul Mahmud became the President of National Association of Nigerian Students aka NANS in January, 1991,[3] and his leadership and activism led to his abduction[4] and detention by the Department of State Security aka DSS alongside other high-ranking members of the association.[5] Detained alongside him were Bamidele Aturu, Nasir Kura, Chima Okereke, Olatunji Kayode, Bunmi Olusona and Christian Akanni.[6]


Legal Practice

He is the Chief Counsel, Ephesis Lex, (Attorneys & Solicitors), [[Abuja|Nigeria]] and President of Public Interest Lawyers League (PILL). Prior to that, he was the Senior Legal Executive Tivoli Technology, Stoke Poges, England and served as a Director of Legal Services, Civil Liberties Organization, CLO, Nigeria. He is a Dutch Fellow on Development, Law & Social Justice of International Institute of Social Studies The Hague (class of 1998), and was a Visiting Lecturer in Human Rights Law, Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ogun State. He was a delegate of the 2014 National Conference of Nigeria as a member of the Civil Society Organizations Committee.[7]

Social commentator

Obemata, his nom de guerre is a regular contributor on legal[8] and public affairs[9], national[10][11] and international issues on major national and international print and electronic news media, including the The Guardian (Nigeria)newspaper, Daily Times (Nigeria), Channels Television, Africa Independent Television, Radio Nigeria, African Writer Magazine[12] and the Africa Service of the British Broadcasting Corporation and on several online blogs and social media platforms.



  • Self Portrait[13]
  • For WS, for Breytenbach[14]
  • In his footsteps[15]
  • My Heart Whispers, Prometheus[16]
  • Sunset[17]
  • Protest Streets[18]
  • Memoir[19]


  • Chequepoint Charlie[20]

Literary reviews

  • Lola Shoneyin's Love of Flight[21]
  • The Legal Framework of Nigeria's Economic Diplomacy: A Review of Nigeria's Economic Diplomacy by Musa Babayo[22]

Selected Essays & Papers

  • Audu's Death: Resolving the Legal Conundrum [23]
  • Electricity Tariff: What the NERC must do to inspire investors' confidence[24]
  • Falling Standards in Education and the Crisis of Higher Education in Nigeria[25]
  • Legal and Administrative Imperatives for the Operation of Political Parties in Nigeria, Abuja, 2013
  • Making Sense of the Judgment of the Taraba State Election Petition Tribunal[26]
  • NANS in Our Eyes: The Journey through Time and Space, Kano, 2015[27]
  • On the Cyber Stalker Near You: The Power of Arrest of the EFCC Examined[28]
  • Politicians and the Courts are Shackling INEC[29][30]
  • The State Digs in Once More: Preliminary Observations on the Transport Sector of the Transformation Agenda, Abuja, 2012

Selected Articles

  • 12 Important Guides For Student Activists and Leaders[31]
  • A Nation of Basket Mouths[32]
  • Buhari, His Critics and The Case for Efficient Government[33]
  • Dear Dame, Don't Abuse Kongi[34]
  • EFCC ill-prepared to handle corruption cases/[35]
  • Government of Absurdities[36]
  • Kabiru Mohammed and the falsification of history[37]
  • Our Mutually Assured Destruction[38]
  • Why CJN must make assets declaration public[39]


  • Triptych- A collection of poems[40]
  • Service Delivery Reports for Most Outstanding Public Institutions in Nigeria[41] (Co-Authored);
  • Human Rights in Retreat in Nigeria, Report of the Universal Defenders of Democracy,[42] UDD, December, 1994 (Co-authored with Chief Mike Ozekhome, SAN)

Political activities

  • Delegate, 2014 Nigeria National Conference[43]
  • Former National Deputy Chairman of Campaign for Democracy(1991-1992)
  • Former Secretary of Democratic Alternative(1994-1999)
  • Member, Electoral Reform Expert Group

Selected mentions

  • Identity Transformation and Identity Politics Under Structural Adjustment in Nigeria[44]
  • Mentioned by Karen Sorensen in Nigeria on the eve of change: Transition to what?[45]
  • Civil Rights and Pro-Democracy Groups in and outside Nigeria[46]


  1. ^ "Abdul Mahmud". Lawyard. Retrieved 24 July 2017.
  2. ^ "Public interest lawyers league writes Minister for Trade". Chidoonumah. Retrieved July 31, 2013.
  3. ^ Opeyemi, Bamidele. Errands for progress. Datkeem Press. ISBN 9783681648.
  4. ^ Refugees, United Nations High Commissioner for. "Refworld | Nigeria: Information on whether Mahmud Abdul Aminu is still the president of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) and if not, what has happened to him". Refworld.
  5. ^ Jega, Attahiru. Identity transformation and identity politics under structural adjustment in Nigeria. Nordiska Afrikainstitutet. ISBN 91-7106-456-7.
  6. ^ "Liberty: A Quarterly News Letter of Civil Liberties Organisation". 1 (3). Civil Liberties Organisation. 1990. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  7. ^ "List of national conference delegates". 6 March 2014.
  8. ^ Post, The Atlantic (2019-02-19). "Civil Rights Lawyer Questions The Quality Of Legal Education Over Support Of Some SANs For Extra-Judicial Killing Of Electoral Offenders". The Atlantic Post. Retrieved 2019-10-28.
  9. ^ Sunday, Philips (2019-01-05). "Ex-NANS President, Abdul Mahmud Disowns Association, Cites Reasons". Concise News. Retrieved 2019-10-28.
  10. ^ "'Sowore's arrest may ignite public interest in new radical movement'". The Bell Time. 2019-08-04. Retrieved 2019-10-28.
  11. ^ Paper, Order (2018-01-16). "Public Interest Lawyers League decries continued detention, media parade of Sheikh Zakzaky". abna.co. Retrieved 2019-10-28.
  12. ^ "African Writer". AfricanWriter.com.
  13. ^ Mahmud, Obemata Abdul (24 April 2011). "Three Poems: By Obemata". AfricanWriter.com.
  14. ^ Mahmud, Obemata Abdul (24 April 2011). "Three Poems: By Obemata". AfricanWriter.com.
  15. ^ Mahmud, Obemata Abdul (24 April 2011). "Three Poems: By Obemata". AfricanWriter.com.
  16. ^ "my heart whispers, prometheus - a poem by aminu mahmud". www.sentinelpoetry.org.uk. Retrieved 2013-12-06.
  17. ^ "sunset - a poem by aminu mahmud". www.sentinelpoetry.org.uk. SPM Publications Ltd. Retrieved 2003-12-06.
  18. ^ "protest streets - a poem by aminu mahmud". www.sentinelpoetry.org.uk. SPM Publications Ltd.
  19. ^ "memoir - a poem by aminu mahmud". www.sentinelpoetry.org.uk. UK: SPM Publications Ltd.
  20. ^ Mahmud, Obemata Abdul (28 April 2010). "Chequepoint Charlie: A Short Story by Obemata (Abdul Mahmud)". AfricanWriter.com.
  21. ^ Mahmud, Obemata Abdul (12 February 2010). "Lola Shoneyin's Love of Flight: A Review by Obemata". AfricanWriter.com.
  22. ^ Mahmud, Abdul (10 March 2016). "Musa Babayo and Nigeria's Economic Diplomacy". Daily Times Nigeria. Daily Times Nigeria.
  23. ^ Staff, Lawyard (2015-11-23). "The Death of Prince Audu- Resolving The Legal Conundrum – PIL". Lawyard. Retrieved 2019-10-28.
  24. ^ "Opinion: Electricity tariff - What the NERC must do to inspire investors' confidence » YNaija". YNaija. 2013-09-11. Retrieved 2019-10-28.
  25. ^ Mahmud, Abdul (2013-11-10). "falling-educational-standards-and-the-crisis-of-education". thescoopng.com/. Retrieved 28 October 2019.
  26. ^ Writer, Staff (2015-11-08). "EXCLUSIVE| Making Sense of the Judgment of the Taraba State Governorship Election Tribunal – By Abdul Mahmud". Breaking Times. Retrieved 2019-10-28.
  27. ^ Adeoya, Femi (25 September 2015). "NANS In Our Eyes: The Journey Through Time And Space, By Abdul Mahmud". SkytrendNews Nigeria.
  28. ^ Onumah, Chido (2016-08-10). "On the cyberstalker near you: the power of arrest of the EFCC examined". Chidoonumah.com. Retrieved 2019-10-28.
  29. ^ "Politicians and the courts are shackling INEC". The ICIR. 2016-08-07. Retrieved 2019-10-28.
  30. ^ "Politicians And The Courts Are Shackling INEC - By Abdul Mahmud". 247ureports.com. 2016-08-07. Retrieved 2019-10-28.
  31. ^ "LIFESTYLE: 12 Important Guides For Student Activists and Leaders, By Abdul Mahmud - Premium Times Nigeria". www.premiumtimesng.com. Premium Times NG. 27 July 2017. Retrieved 2017-07-27.
  32. ^ Mahmud, Abdul (28 March 2013). "A nation of basket mouths". The ScoopNG. The ScoopNG. Retrieved 2013-03-28.
  33. ^ "Abdul Mahmud: Buhari, His Critics And The Case For Efficient Government". NewsWireNGR. 15 September 2015.
  34. ^ Mahmud, Abdul (28 February 2013). "Dear Dame, you don't abuse Kongi". The ScoopNG. The ScoopNG. Retrieved 2013-02-28.
  35. ^ "EFCC ill-prepared to handle corruption cases -Abdul Mahmud". The Sun Nigeria. 27 September 2016.
  36. ^ Mahmud, Abdul (4 April 2013). "Government of absurdities". The ScoopNG. Retrieved 2014-04-14.
  37. ^ Mahmud, Abdul (25 April 2013). "Kabiru Mohammed and the falsification of history". The ScoopNG. The ScoopNG. Retrieved 2013-04-25.
  38. ^ Mahmud, Abdul (26 November 2014). "Nigeria: Our Mutually Assured Destruction". The ScoopNG. Retrieved 2014-11-16.
  39. ^ Oyesina, Tunde (2018-01-08). "Mahmud: Why CJN must make assets declaration public". Newtelegraph. Retrieved 2019-10-28.
  40. ^ obemata (29 July 2013). obemata - triptych. London: SPM Publications. p. 72. ISBN 978-09568101-9-9.
  42. ^ "Nigeria Government Profile 2018". www.indexmundi.com.
  43. ^ "List of Delegates to the National Conference". www.nscia.com.ng. www.nscia.com.ng.
  44. ^ Identity transformation and identity politics under structural adjustment in Nigeria. Stockholm: Nordiska Afrikainstitutet. 2000. p. 224. ISBN 91-7106-456-7.
  45. ^ Sorensen, Karen (1991). Nigeria, on the eve of "change" : transition to what? (Human Rights Watch, 1991 ed.). Human Rights Watch. p. 33. ISBN 1564320456.
  46. ^ Mustapha, Abdul Raufu (4 April 2013). "Civil Rights and Pro-democracy Groups in and outside Nigeria". Nigeria during the Abacha Years (1993-1998) : The Domestic and International Politics of Democratization. IFRA-Nigeria. pp. 145–183.

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