The Board of Directors

  • MARYAM UWAIS (MRS.) MFR Chairperson

Mrs Maryam Uwais obtained an LLB (Hons) in 1980 and was admitted to the Nigerian Bar in 1981. She obtained an LLM in 1985 and other qualifications subsequently, including a Legal Drafting Certificate from the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, a Practice Diploma in International Business Organisations from the International Bar Association and a Post Graduate Diploma in Islamic Banking and Insurance from the Institute of Islamic Banking, UK. Maryam has been practicing law from the private firm of Wali-Uwais & Co from the capital city of Abuja, Nigeria since 1998, after retiring from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

Before working at the CBN, she worked as a prosecutor at the Kano State Ministry of Justice and the Nigerian Law Reform Commission. She has been a member and has served on the Boards of several organisations and civil society groups such as The National Human Rights Commission, where she served as the Special Rapporteur on Child Rights for six years. Additionally, she has worked as a Consultant for Open Society Initiative for West Africa, UNICEF, the World Bank and DFID, in projects relating to children & women’s rights, entrepreneurship, education and justice sector reform. She is currently a member of the African Union Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child and of The Presidential Advisory Council. She was a member of the Kano State Almajirai committee. She has also been made the National Nutrition Champion by the Ministry of Health.

Maryam is widely travelled and has written several papers; articles relating to economic, social and cultural rights, child justice administration, children and women’s rights (especially on the misapplication of Sharia law in Northern Nigeria), interfaith dialogue and also prepared the Working Paper on Justice Sector Reform. She was also part of a collective of networkers in the formulation of a handbook titled ‘Knowing Our Rights; Women, Family, Laws & Customs in the Muslim World. Maryam has also contributed to a February, 2010 Publication By Konrad Adnauer-Sifting, titled, ‘We Have Justice In Common, Christian And Muslim Voices From Asia And Africa. She is married to Hon Justice M.L Uwais, GCON, and they have three sons.


Alhaji Bashir Dalhatu, who hails from Jigawa State, was born on the 12th of November, 1949. He attended Rumfa College Kano and Abdullahi Bayero College, before going to Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria where he graduated with an LLB degree in Law in 1972. After Law School in Lagos he proceeded to London to do a postgraduate course in Law.

He was the Administrative Officer at Kano State Ministry of Works and then Ministry of Agriculture. Currently he is the Executive Director of Freedom Radio, Kano, Chairman Highland Waters and Marketing Limited. He has served Nigeria in various capacities, including Minister of Transport and Aviation during the Interim National Government, Minister of Power and Steel (1993-1997) and Minister of Internal Affairs (1997-1998). He was also the State Secretary for the National Party of Nigeria (NPN) 1981-1983, Assistant National Legal Adviser NPN 1979 – 1981, Executive Member and Chairman of the Think Tank of the Presidential Campaign (NRC), Member of the Executive Committee of the ANPP and National Secretary of ANC.

Other key appointments include; member, Board of Directors, Nigerian Ports Authority, Member, Kano State Judicial Service Commission, Member Constitution Review Committee (1987), Chairman, Committee on Federal Capital Territory Constituent Assembly. A member of the Nigerian Bar Association as well as the International Bar Association, his hobbies are reading and playing golf.


Ms Asma’u Joda is a mother of two young working women. She is a feminist and a human rights activist and has worked almost all her life to make sure girls and women are treated as equals and with due respect. She had her primary school in Kaduna, Secondary in Lagos, pre-degree in Maiduguri and University in Zaria where she studied Business Administration at the Ahmadu Bello University Zaria. She had several training such as Project Management, Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights; Holistic approach to total well being including self-help; Gender and Assertiveness Training and Advocacy: Feminist Leadership in the Muslim World and Sanitation and Waste Water Management.

She has worked in several prominent places such as New Nigeria Development Company (NNDC) Kaduna where she worked as an Investment Executive. After which she founded a trading company. She worked as the Managing Director of her family business (The Benue Valley Farms and Benue Valley Meat Company). She was also the advisor to the Executive Governor on 1) Women Affairs and 2) Commerce and Industry. She worked as the Programme Manager for Education at the Voluntary Service Overseas in Abuja Nigeria (VSO is a UK development organisation).

Her dream is to hear the joy of impending motherhood is announced with confidence and expectation of a happy and healthy mother and baby. A mother that will give birth to the number of babies she desires, knowing that there is a 99.99% chance the babies will survive, so there is no contingency plan to be made to produce 10 children in the hope that 4 will survive.


Asue Ighodalo is the founding and managing partner of Banwo & Ighodalo, a multidisciplinary firm with offices in Lagos and Abuja, Nigeria; which provides first-class legal advice on all aspects of corporate and commercial Nigerian law. He obtained his first degree in economics from the University of Ibadan, a law degree from the London School of Economics; and was admitted into the Nigerian Bar in July 1985. His core areas of practice are Corporate Finance, Capital Markets, Energy & Natural Resources, Mergers & Acquisitions, Banking & Securitization and Project Finance.

Asue is a member of the Nigerian Bar Association, International Bar Association (Section on Energy and Natural Resources Law), Association of International Petroleum Negotiators, Nigerian Economic Summit Group (board member and chairman, NESG #10 Planning Committee), Commercial Law and Taxation Committee of Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Chartered Institute of Taxation, Anti-trust and Competition Committee established by the Federal Government (2002 to 2004), Policy and Monitoring Committee of the National Council on Privatisation from 2008 to date and Edo State Economic Strategy Team.

He has authored many articles in leading law publications and also delivered several presentations on diverse subject matters. He frequently lectures on “Corporate Governance”, “Directors’ Duties & Responsibilities” and “Entrepreneurship” at the Institute of Directors, Lagos Business School and FATE Foundation entrepreneurial training sessions respectively. His hobbies include playing golf, watching football, and reading, traveling and participating in political discourse. He is married and blessed with a daughter.


Yemi Candide-Johnson is the senior partner at Strachan Partners, which is a leading commercial law firm based in Lagos, Nigeria and with practice across the nation. He was called to the Nigerian Bar in July 1984 and conferred with the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria in September 2003. He received the LL.M Degree of the University of London in 1984 and between 1984 and 1990 was Counsel in the chambers of John. B. Majiyagbe SAN, in Kano, Nigeria. He moved to Lagos in 1990 to establish the Lagos practice of that firm and in 1994 led the founding of Strachan Partners. Mr. Candide-Johnson was appointed a Notary Public for Nigeria in 1988; He has been a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators of England (FCI Arb) since 1996 and an Approved Tutor and Examiner, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators UK, (Nigeria Branch). He is a Supporting Member, London Maritime Arbitration Association and a Member, Panel of Neutrals, Lagos State Multi Door Court House, Lagos since 2002; Editorial Consultant, Judgments of the Supreme Court of Nigeria from 2001; Legal Assessor, Medical and Dental Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal 2000 to 2005.

Mr. Candide-Johnson is the author of several scholarly papers and is engaged as leading counsel in on going major and high profile commercial and public policy litigation across the courts of Nigeria. He has acted either as counsel or as arbitrator in several domestic and international commercial arbitrations in the maritime, petroleum and construction industries. He is happily married with three children.


Rakiya Sarki Ibrahim (MRS) MON was born on the 19th of February, 1956 in Nigeria. She attended Shekara Girls’ Boarding Primary School, Kano, Nigeria. For her Secondary education she attended Government Girls College, Dala, Kano, Nigeria (1970-1974) and then Ahmadu Bello University in which she attained a BSc. in Business Administration. She worked at the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund in various capacities as the State Manager, Branch Manager (Abuja), Head of Operations, Branch Manager (Kano) and Zonal Manager. Before then, she served under the Ministry of Education in Kano State as Principal for various schools. She is currently a Council Member of the National Judicial Council, and Chairperson of the Federal Judiciary Tenders Board.

She was awarded the Certificate of Merit by the Kano State government for dedication and commitment to the promotion of education in the state. She is also a recipient of the National Award of the Member of the Order of the Niger (MON).


Mrs. Zubaida M. Rasheed, is a graduate of Economics from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria – 1981. She joined the services of NITEL in 1983 and rose through the ranks to become the first female Executive Director as the Chief Marketing officer in 2006. Some of her key achievements include the setting up of the new Marketing and Sales Division as the pioneer General Manager and later The Chief Marketing officer; Team member, project implementation team for the introduction of the cellular mobile services into the Nigerian market in the early ‘90s; Economist counterpart in the World Bank feasibility study for the World Bank project in 1988; Involved in the re-structuring of the company under the recent privatisation programme, and the introduction of NITEL new services including IP services, ADSL; Coporate Private Networks; Wireless services and other value added services.

Mrs. Rasheed has attended several developmental courses both locally and internationally. These include: Marketing in The Carrier Environm ent (British Telecom); Marketing Research; The Use of Software for the Calculation of Costs, Tariffs & Rates for Telephone Services (COSITU); ITU Cost Model; Strategic Marketing (CTO, UK) Financial Management for non-Financial Managers; Practical Connectivity of a LAN, WAN & Security System; Alcatel System 12 Digital Switch; Siemens EWSD Operation & Maintenance; Managing Transition for effective Change Implementation; ISP System Operation & Administration [IS5111]; Introduction to CISCO Router Configuration [ICRC]; Telecom Pricing Strategy (Brussels); and several others.

She is an Associate Member National Institute of Marketing Nigeria (2005) and a member of Nigerian Institute of Management (2006).


Bello Buhari was the former Executive Secretary to the National Human Rights Commission. He was born in Birnin Kebbi State, and studied Law at Ahmadu Bello University Zaria and the Nigerian Law School Lagos. He was at various times Assistant Director Public Prosecutions, Ministry of Justice Sokoto State, Director of Legal Services National Electoral Commission (NEC) and Special Assistant to the Attorney General of the Federation. Buhari Bello was a member and later leader of the Nigerian delegation to the United Nations, and was elected Vice-President of the Diplomatic and Plenipotentiary Conference for the Establishment of the International Criminal Court in Rome Italy. He served as Executive Secretary of The National Human Rights Commission of Nigeria for a period of about 7 years. He was elected Chairman of the Coordinating Committee of the African National Human Rights Institutions and a member of the Credentials and Accreditation sub-committee of the International Committee of the National Human Rights Institution, UN, Geneva.

He was honoured with the prestigious member of the Order of the Federal Republic OFR in December 2003, Dr Kwame Nkurumah Outstanding Merit Award and membership of the National Institute MNI, 2007. He is currently a Director with the Federal Ministry of Justice, Abuja and is married with six children.


Born in 1964, Hadiza Wali-Oniyangi obtained a B Sc. Degree in Sociology in 1985 from Ahmadu Bello University Zaria and an M. Sc. Degree in Industrial Relations and Personnel Management in 1990 from the University of Lagos. Hadiza has had varied experience both in private and public sectors. In 1989, she joined Habib Nigeria Bank Ltd (now Bank PHB) in their Head Office, Kaduna as the Personnel & Administration Officer and was thereafter posted to their Ilorin branch as an Accounts Officer. She also worked with the National Electric Power Authority (now PHCN) in llorin District Office as the Manager, Personnel and Administration between 1997 and 2002. Hadiza worked briefly as Head of Admin & Personnel at the Shehu Musa Yar’adua Centre in Abuja.

She is currently a Principal Manager in the Management Services Department of the National Pension Commission, Abuja. Married to Abdulrazaq Akanbi Oniyangi, they are blessed with children.


Hajiya Fatima Wali – Abdurrahman was educated at Queens College, Lagos where she passed out with a Grade 1 in the West African School Certificate examination (W. A. S. C.). She then got admission to the Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, where she went through the School of Basic Studies, and got a place to study Architecture at the same University. She later transferred to the University of Minnesota, USA where she qualified with a BA (Arch.) and BA (Urban Studies). She also holds a M.Sc. (Arch.) in Economics and Management of Construction from the Bartlett School of Architecture & Planning, University College London. Fatima is a qualified Facility Management Professional (fmp).

As a young graduate, she was Resident Architect at the Air Force Military School, Jos, and was in charge of converting it from the old Jos Airport. Afterwards, she joined Multi-Systems Consultants Ltd,. Architects and Planners, Kano as a Resident Architect from 1983-85. In 1987, she worked briefly with Femi Majekodunmi & Associates, Lagos. Her experience in property design and management saw her as Head of Real Estate Department, Cosmocorp Realty ( a part of the Cosmocorp Group) from 1990-92. In 1992, she was appointed General Manager of Alpha Properties International Ltd., the post she held until she resigned to jointly set up Participant Properties Limited in 1994 as the Managing Director. She has managed the firm from inception to date, and successfully expanded its activities to Abuja, overseeing the overall activities of all the branches.

In April 2005, FilmoRealty Ltd was created to take care of the property management business of Participant Properties, of which she is currently Chief Executive Officer as well. She sits on the boards of Triquest Energy Ltd. Assent Communications Nigeria Ltd. and BGL plc. She is also on the Advisory Board of the Women’s Investment Fund, sponsored by Chapel Hill Denham and a member of Women in the Boardroom. She has three sons.


Dr Yashua Alkali-Hamza is the Chief Medical Director of Childcare and Wellness Clinics is a Consultant Pediatrician and a Public Health Specialist with expertise in preventive medicine and community based qualitative research. Dr Yashua was amongst many others things; a consultant for several international organizations including Harvard School of Public health, Institute of International Education (IIE )based in San-Francisco, Packard Foundation, Clinton Foundation and many others. She has numerous publications and articles documenting her researches and studies. Dr Yashua was the Head of Pediatric Department of one of the biggest public hospitals in Sub-Saharan Africa, Murtala Mohammed Specialist Hospital, Kano and has been involved in setting up quality controls in various private and public facilities in Kano and FCT.

She is the founder of the Ma’amsaa foundation for children with special needs having over 500 members; she is also the Vice President of Environmental Laws and Rights I (ELRI) based in Lagos. She has been honoured with the National Award for best Paediatric Resident (Kunle Ijaiye Awards). She is the recipient of the Safe Water Africa award for excellence in health care 2005 and has received commendations from the Kano state Government as well as the Management of Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital in 2002 and 2005 respectively.

She is a fellow of the West African College of Physicians. She also holds a Masters of Public Health Degree from the University of Liverpool.


Dr (Mrs) Nafisah Wali – Omar had her primary and secondary school education in Kano State. She obtained her medical degree from the College of Medicine, University of Lagos (CMUL) in 1991. She also has a Master’s degree in Public Health from the University of Nottingham (2010). She has worked in various places such as Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH),  Murtala Mohammed Specialist Hospital Kano, Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital (AKTH) and the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Staff Hospital ( Lagos & Abuja).

Dr Nafisah is presently the Recruitment & Redeployment Officer for the Health Workforce under the Subsidy and Re-investment Programme (SURE-P) Maternal and Child Health. She enjoys reading, travelling, aerobics and solving puzzles.