Judge Abduljabbar Bola Ajibola: In Service to Allah and Upliftment of Islam

Born into the Ayoloye/Afelele Royal Family of Owu in Abeokuta, His Excellency Judge AbdulJabbar Bolasodun Adesumbo Atanda Ajibola SAN, KBE, LL.D, D.Litt, FNIALS, FCIArb, CFR, came into the world in the afternoon on 22 March 1934 in Lagos Island, Lagos.

He was brought up in the home of a highly disciplined colonial police officer and devout Muslim, who later became the Olowu of Owu Kingdom in Abeokuta, Oba AbdulSalami Adewunmi Ajibola, Gbadela II, whose glorious reign lasted for 23 years (1949-1972). Judge Ajibola attended Owu Baptist Day School, Ita-Iyalode and the Baptist Boys’ High School, Oke-Egunya, both in Owu, Abeokuta for his primary and secondary education respectively.

In spite of the strong Christian traditions of the Schools he attended, which was instrumental to the conversion of many of his peers to Christianity, Judge Ajibola never abandoned his Islamic faith from birth till he returned to his Lord. He set out early in life to strive for the betterment of humanity and he worked briefly with the government of Western Nigeria and later as a teacher in Lagos after High School, before proceeding for higher education in the United Kingdom between 1958 and 1962.

He studied Law at the Holborn College of Law, University of London and was called to the English Bar at Lincoln’s Inn, in the year 1962.He returned to his homeland and became a Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Nigeria in 1963.

Judge Bola Ajibola began his practice as a lawyer in Nigeria in the chambers of the late Chief O.B. Akin-Olugbade before establishing his famous law firm, Bola Ajibola & Co. He became very successful in both Corporate and International Law, and he is reckoned with as “the Father of Arbitration in Nigeria”. He is widely renowned and respected all over the world for his legal and adjudicatory services.

He was very active in the Nigerian Bar Association and became the President of the respected body of ‘learned gentlemen’ in 1984. As a lawyer, he was known for his principled stand on the rights of men, the rule of law and supremacy of the Constitution. These attributes contributed to his appointment as the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, a position in which he served from 1985 to 1991.

In the year 1991, the United Nations General Assembly in New York, USA, acknowledged his towering credentials and voted for Judge Bola Ajibola against three other judges to become a Judge of the International Court of Justice (the ICJ), otherwise known as the World Court in The Hague, Netherlands. He also became a member of the Permanent Court of Arbitration also in The Hague and after his tenure in the ICJ, he continued to serve the Court in several ad-hoc capacities.

Judge Ajibola was a leading Arbitrator of the International Chambers of Commerce in Paris, France. He was the President of World Jurists Association and was a member and first non-white President of the World Bank Administrative Tribunal in Washington DC, USA. During the Bosnian War in Europe, he became a Judge of the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina, along with two other Judges of the ICJ, Abdullah Fikr El-Khani of Syria and Francois Rigaux of Belgium.

In 1994, with his establishment of African Concern, a charitable non-governmental organisation aimed at finding African solutions to the problems of Africans on the continent, Judge Ajibola began formally his widely acclaimed efforts in the area of humanitarian services. The African Concern was established in Lusaka, Zambia and its impact was greatly felt by Africans displaced from their homes or countries as a result of civil wars.

The Oru Refugee Camp, near Ijebu-Ode in Ogun State, benefitted a lot from the activities of the African Concern. The Islamic Mission for Africa (IMA), originally named the Islamic Movement for Africa, followed in 1996 and this was crowned with the establishment of Crescent University as a private tertiary institution in the year 2005.

The Birth Of Islamic Mission For Africa (IMA)

At the expiration of his tenure in the International Court of Justice in 1994, Judge Ajibola, then aged 60, felt he would want to devote the remainder of his life solely to the service of Islam and humanity and instead of returning home from The Hague, he first travelled to Saudi Arabia to perform the Lesser Hajj (Umrah) and thank Allah for His favours and seek His further guidance.

Alas, upon completion of Umrah and returning to The Hague before his final departure for Nigeria, he had met a retinue of letters of appointments into various roles and duties, all of which kept him preoccupied with the ICJ assignments for another ten years. Thus were his prayers answered with assignments which brought him resources to embark upon the next phase of his life.

The Islamic Mission for Africa (IMA) was born on December 13, 1996. Its birth resulted from the crystallisation of the inner thoughts of Judge Ajibola. The growth of this Islamic organisation in more than two and a half decades of existence has seen it through regular radio programmes, the first of which was Al-Tanzil (The Revelation).

Next was the establishment of the IMA Research Centre and its component facilities which includes the Bola Ajibola Library and Audio-Visual Centre; Oba Gbadela II Multi-purpose Hall; Alhaja Adikatu Ajibola Guest Chalet; the IMA International Nursery and Primary School; IMA International Model College; the IMA Hospital; the imposing Masjid Al-Jabbar which occupies the heart of the Centre; and finally, the establishment of a tertiary institution, Crescent University, Abeokuta, which on June 1, 2005 got the approval of the Federal Executive Council through the grant of a Licence to operate as a Private University.

Mission Statement

The spirit behind the establishment of the Islamic Mission for Africa (IMA) is to promote the virtues and beauty of Islam through Research, Training, Publicity and Enlightenment, through the organs of Mass Communication and Information Technology for the better understanding and wide acceptance of Islam. IMA predisposes itself into showcasing Islam as a way of life and for the eradication of ignorance, prejudice, hostility and apathy against “The First and Last Religion” for mankind.

The Philosophy

The concept of IMA is hinged on the promotion of Islam as a Religion of Peace, as Religion of Excellence and as a beautiful Religion. It is also meant to present Islam as a friendly religion that promotes togetherness, harmony and concord. The organisation presents Islam in its pristine form as a pure monotheistic religion that seeks to make the world a place of peace. IMA is also out to make man embrace that which is good and to eschew evil so as to have a blissful end in the Hereafter.

The IMA Research Centre

The Islamic Mission for Africa Research Centre, Abeokuta which was commissioned on June 16, 2001 is modelled after the Islamic Research Centre in Markfield, Leicester, United Kingdom but it is broader in terms of constituent facilities. While the Centre in Leicester is limited in scope to research and training, the IMA Research Centre, Abeokuta as stated above has additional facilities to create more social and cultural impacts peculiar to the problems of Islam in Africa.

With the departure of our President and Founder, His Excellency Judge AbdulJabbar Bolasodun Adesumbo Ajibola, the organisation will continue to be led by its new President, Barr. (Prince) Muhammed Mahruf Adesegun Ajibola, SAN, who before now has presided in acting capacity. May Allah grant him and everyone with him on this endeavour, tremendous success.

IMA’s Quranic Theme

“Invite all to the way of thy Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching, and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious: For thy Lord knoweth best, who have strayed from His path, and who receive guidance”. (Suratun Nahl16: V. 125).

“O Mankind! We created you from a single pair of male and female, and made you into Nations and tribes that ye may know each other (Not that ye may despise each other). Verily the most honoured of you in the sight of God is (he who is) the most righteous of you. And God has full knowledge and is well acquainted with all things.” (Suratul Hujurat, 49:V. 13).

Written by S.O. Aweda.



For Advert Inquiries
Tele/+234 7036309859
E-mail: themuslimvoiceng@gmail.com

For News/Article
E-mail: themuslimvoiceng@gmail.com

Have any Question or Comment?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

error: Content is protected !!
Chat With Our Agent!