Chronicles of Professor D. F. Atidoga – The New DVC, Kogi State University

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Tall, fair, handsome,well built physically, jovial, easy going, humble and accessible. All these are the undeniable attributes of one of the finest and youngest Professors of Law in Nigeria – Professor D. F. Atidoga. 

Professor D. F. Atidoga is an Associate Professor of Law in Kogi State University, Anyigba, and a Professor of Law appointed by University of the Gambia, while on Technical Assistance at Banjul.

It is said that when a child washes his hands clean he will be allowed to dine with the elders. Professor D. F. Atidoga indeed, washed his hands clean from the very beginning and this explains why and how he was able to “dine and wine” with great Professors of Law in Nigeria such as Professor K. S. Chukkol (OFR) and Professor M. T. Ladan, who are his personal friends.

With great passion, irresistible courage and unquenchable determination, D. F. Atidoga rose through the ranks from being a student and friend to these great Professors of Law to becoming a great Professor of Law like them almost at the speed of light! According to Napoleon Hill, whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve. This is exactly what happened in Professor Atidoga’s life which has catapulted him to the glorious position he occupies today!

Anyone who had the privilege of been taught by Professor D. F. Atidoga would honestly attest to the fact that he is one of the best “gifted hands” in the teaching of law and legal studies in Nigeria and even beyond. He spices his class with practical examples and humours which ease the burden and tension of any course he taught or teaches, no matter how difficult.

In his class, students never get bored or tired; they rather wish his lecture time never ends! If the students are vanquished by anxiety or lack of interest in any course, Professor Atidoga is the go-to name as with him, good mood and enthusiasm would be restored through his wise counsel.

Brad Henry once said that “a good teacher can inspire hope, ignite the imagination, and instill a love of learning”. Professor Atidoga to say the least, is a good teacher who is generally admired and considered endearing by all his students and other people who have had personal encounter with him. He is incorruptible and fair in his assessment of students’ performance during exams and tests.

Nigerians are typically good at celebrating their heroes and great people mostly upon their deaths and they say little or nothing about them in their life times. That’s not the desideratum of celebrating the heroes of the people!

Professor D.F. Atidoga is a hero not in terms of military warfare but in terms of academic breakthroughs which only few of Igala extraction can be said to have achieved his feat. And so, he is being celebrated in Nigeria today in his life time against the run of play!

Thus, in this article, we shall take a look at the rich profile of Professor D. F. Atidoga albeit in a summarized form. In all honesty, it is only in a full book that the enviable attributes and personality of this noble law lord can be well articulated, however, we shall make do with limited pages we have in this piece to present to the world a very young and fine international Professor of Law in whom intelligence and unmatchable wisdom find completeness! 

Now, behold Professor D. F. Atidoga:

Professor Daniel Friday Atidoga is an Igala man born into the noble family of the Atidogas of Agala (Agala “Republic” as he has always fondly reffered to his native home), in Anyigba, Dekina L.G.A. of Kogi State, North Central Nigeria, on the 1st of December, 1975.

He began his primary education at G.R.A., L.E.A., Primary School, Zaria in 1980 and completed same in 1985 with a First School Leaving Certificate. In the same 1985, the young Atidoga enrolled at Basawa Teachers College, Zaria where he obtained his J.S.C.E in 1988. Between 1988-1991, he attended Alhuda-huda College, Zaria City where he obtained his S.S.C.E. In his quest to be the best of his kind educationally, this young determined man proceeded to School of  Basic Studies (SBS), Makurdi between 1994 – 1995, and obtained his ‘A’ Levels (IJMB) Certificate, with an exceptional 14 points score.

In line with his zeal and divine arrangement, Mr. Atidoga was admitted to study Law at the prestigious Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria in the year 1997 and graduated in 2002 with an LL.B Hons degree. Thereafter, he attended the Nigeria Law School from 2002-2003, where he obtained his BL. In his determination to excel in academic line, Mr. Atidoga attended Usumanu Danfodio University between 2008 – 2009 and was awarded Postgraduate Degree in Education (PGDE). Attesting to the unusual qualities of this ‘man of book’, Mr. Atidoga was simultaneously running his Masters of Law Program (LLM) with his PGDE Program in two different Nigerian Universities! Although this bold step caused a little delay in his Masters Program which he enrolled for in 2005 at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, it nonetheless paid off when he was awarded his LLM by the said University in 2010.

Mr. Atidoga’s quest to reach the peak of his academic career saw him enrolled for his PhD (Law) Program at his alma mater, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria in 2011, and  in 2015, he became a Juris Doctor with the award of Doctorate Degree (PhD) in Law. His area of research interest is on Comparative Criminal Law & International Crimes.

Despite getting the highest academic qualification in law (PhD), Mr. Atidoga never said good-bye to learning and academic development. To this extent, he has undertaken numerous Continuing Capacity Building Courses internationally. These Courses he has undertaken can be grouped in three categories. The first is the International Criminal Law and Global Affairs Courses, the second has to do with Educational Leadership and Management Courses, while the third centers on Criminal Law and Criminology Courses.

In respect of the first category, Mr. Atidoga has undertaken the following courses in various foreign Universities and got certified accordingly with rare certificates grade points to wit:

1. Case Western Reserve University, U.S.A. (Coursera) – ‘Introduction to International Criminal Law’ (Course Certificate – Grade: 70%)

2. Universiteit Leiden, Netherlands (Coursera) – “Terrorism and Counterterrorism: Comparing Theory and Practice” (Course Certificate- Grade: 78%}

3. Universiteit Leiden, Netherlands (Coursera) –“International Law in Action: Investigating and Prosecuting International Crimes” (Course Certificate – Grade: 92.3%)

4. University of Copenhagen, Denmark (Coursera) –“The Sustainable Development Goals – A Global Transdisciplinary Vision for the Future” (Course Certificate- Grade: 96.3%)

5. Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva – (FutureLearn) “International Affairs: Global Governance” (Certificate of Achievement – Grade: 77%)

6. University of London –“Global Diplomacy – Diplomacy in the Modern World” (Course certificate: Grade: 100%)

7. National Research University, Higher School of Economics, Moscow   (Coursera)– “ Understanding the Theories of International Relations” (Course Certificate: Grade 96.3 %)

8. University of London (Coursera)- “Global Diplomacy : United Nations in the world” (Course Certificate: Grqde 100%)

9. University of Geneva (Coursera) – ‘’International Organization Management’’ ( Course Certificate: Grade 84%)

10. British Council – (FutureLearn) ‘’ Idea for a better World: Leading Change through Policy Making’’

11. Open University, U.K (OpenLearn)  –“The Use of Force in International Law” (Statement of Participation)

12. Open University, U.K (OpenLearn) –“ Nationalism, Self- determination and Secession” (Statement of Participation)

13. Open University, U.K (Open Learn) –“ Exploring the Boundaries of International Law” (Statement of Participation}

On the second category, Mr. Atidoga has undertaken the following courses across various Universities of the world with certifications:

1. University of Michigan (Coursera) – “Equity Diversity and Inclusion in Higher Education” (Course Certificate: Grade 90 %)

2. Open University U.K (OpenLearn) – “Educational Leadership” (Statement of Participation)

3. Open University, U.K – “The  ‘why’ and’ what’ of Educational Leadership and Management”.

On the third category, Professor Atidoga undertook the following courses internationally:

1. Open University, U.K (OpenLearn) – “The Crime of the Powerful” (Statement of Participation)

2. Open University, U.K (OpenLearn) – “Forensic Psychology (Eyewitness Testimony)” – (Accomplishment Badge – Grade: 64.5%)

3. Open University, UK  (OpenLearn)- “Criminology Beyond Crime” (Statement of Participation)

4. Open University, UK  (OpenLearn)- “Race-Ethnicity and Crime” (Statement of Participation).

A writer of international repute, Professor Atidoga has authored and also co-authored countless articles, academic/research works and publications locally and internationally. Some of his local publications include:

1. Olufemi Abifarin & D.F. Atidoga, “An Analysis of the Scope and Limit of Legislative Powers of the National Assembly and State House of Assembly under the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria” (2006), Vol. 1, No. 1, Confluence Law Journal. pp.11-22.

2. D.F Atidoga, “Appraising the Fundamental Rules of Pleadings in Civil Litigation.” (2006), Vol. 1, No 1, Lokoja Journal of Law and practice, a Publication of Nigerian Bar Association, lokoja Branch. pp. 117-130.

3. D.F. Atidoga & Zainab Haruna, “The Power of Nolle Prosequi under the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria: a Handsome Monster,” (2006), Vol. 1, No1, a Publication of Justice without Boarders (NGO), Kaduna, Nigeria. pp. 93-99

4. D.F Atidoga, “The Nature of Corroboration Required in Establishing the Crime of Rape: A Commentary on the Supreme Court Decision in Iko v. State” (2007), Vol.1, No. 1, Zaria Bar Journal,  a Publication of Nigeria Bar Association, Zaria Branch. pp.209-221.

5. D.F. Atidoga & A.U. Yakubu, “The Impact of Poverty on Election, Rule of Law and Criminality in Nigeria.” ABU Law Journal (2007), Vol. 25 – 26, A Publication of Faculty of Law Journal, A.B.U. Zaria. pp. 360 – 373.

6. D.F. Atidoga & Sampson Shaba, “The Act of Euthanasia and Right to Life: The Nigerian Human Rights and Criminal Law Perspectives”[2008] Vol. II, No. 2, Frontiers of Nigeria Law Journal.  A Publication of Faculty of Law, Benue State University, Makurdi. pp. 315 – 336

7. D.F. Atidoga, “The New Apparel of a Company Secretary in the Corporate Government and Administration: CAMA2004 in Perspective” (2008), Vol. 1, No. 1, a Publication of the Department of Commercial and Industrial Law, Kogi State University, Anyigba, Nigeria. Pp. 131-150.

8. D.F. Atidoga, “A Comparative Assessment of the Legal Framework of the Crime of Rape under Nigerian Penal Laws” (2009)vol.1 Pt.1, Kogi State University BI-Annual Journal of Public Law, a Publication of Department of Public Law, Kogi State University, Nigeria. pp. 112 – 121

9. D.F. Atidoga, “An Assessment of the Philosophical Basis of the Punishment for Rape in Nigeria.” (2009), Vol. 2, No. 2, Kogi State University Bi-Annual Journal of Public Law, a Publication of the Department of Public Law, Faculty of Law, Kogi State University, Anyigba, Nigeria. pp. 205-211.

10. D.F. Atidoga, “The Nigeria Police, Corruption and Human Rights Violation: The Need for Re-orientation,” (2009) Vol. 8, No. 2, University of Jos Law Journal. pp. 130-142.

11. Sampson Shaba & D.F. Atidoga, “Emerging Issues on the Defence Provocation in Nigeria,” (2009), Vol. 1, Part 1, Confluence Journal of Private and Property Law, a Publication of the Department of Private and Property Law, Faculty of Law, Kogi State University, Anyigba, Nigeria. pp. 218-226.

12. E. Obaje & D.F Atidoga, “Kogi State Rent and Recovery of Residential Premises Law: Need for Jurisdictional Review,” (2009), Vol. 1, No. 1, Journal of Contemporary Legal Issues. A Publication of Nigeria Bar Association Idah Branch. pp. 202-203.

13. D. F. Atidoga “Rape: The Jurisprudence of its proof in Nigeria,” (2009), Vol. 2, Confluence Journal of Jurisprudence and International Law, a Publication of the Department of Jurisprudence and International Law, Faculty of Law, Kogi State University Anyigba, Nigeria. pp. 118-122.

14. D.F. Atidoga & O. Atidoga, “Fundamental Ingredients of the Crime of Rape: An Expose,” (2009), Vol.1, Part 1, Confluence Journal of Private and Property Law, a Publication of the Department of Private and Property Law, Faculty of Law, Kogi State University, Anyigba, Nigeria. pp. 234-245

15. D.F. Atidoga, “A Case for Rape Shield Laws and Desexualisation of the Crime of Rape: A Prescription for Nigeria.” (2009) Vol. 1, No. 3, Journal of Public and International Law. A publication of Department of Public Law Ahmadu Bello University. pp. 140 – 148.

16. E. Obaje &D.F. Atidoga, “Criminal Jurisprudence of Absolute Executive Immunity Under Nigeria Legal System,” (2010), Vol. 3, No2, Journal of Public Law and Constitutional Practice, a Publication of the Department of Public Law, Faculty of Law, University of Jos, Nigeria. pp 182-197

17. D.F. Atidoga, “Appraising the Jurisprudence of Criminalization of Spousal Rape: Nigeria and English Laws in perspective,” (2010), Vol. 1, EBSU Journal of International Law and Juridical Review, a Publication of the Department of International Law and Jurisprudence, Ebonyi State University, Nigeria. pp. 271-280.

18. D.F. Atidoga & O. Atidoga, “An Evaluation of Human Rights Protection of People Living with HIV/AIDS in Nigeria,” (2010), Vol. 3, No.2, Kogi State Unversity Bi-Annual Journal of Public Law. pp. 102-112.

19. D.F. Atidoga “An Analysis of the Darfur Crisis in the Context of the Crime of Genocide.” (2010), Vol. 1&2, Ife Juris Review. A publication of Department of Jurisprudence and Private Law, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ife.   pp. 21-37.

20. D.F Atidoga, “From Impunity to Accountability; Individual Criminal Responsibility in International Law,” (2010), Vol. 1, Human Rights Review, an International Human Rights Journal. Publication of Department of Public Law, A.B.  U, Zaria and National Human Rights Commission of Nigeria. pp. 195-219.

21. D.F. Atidoga “Genocide and Human Rights Violation: An Examination of the Armenian Genocide” Human Rights Review, an International Journal of Human Rights. (2011) Vol.2 No. 2, pp. 50 –72.

22. D.F. Atidoga, “Conceptualization of the Crime of Genocide in International Criminal Law; Some Preliminary Issues and Dilemmas” (2016) Vol 8, Kogi State University Law Journal. pp.26 – 53.

23. Chjioke, Obaje, Olong & Atidoga, “Concept and Legal Framework for Combating Economic and Financial Crimes in Nigeria: The Limits of Law”,(2009) Presented at the 42nd Law Teachers’ Conference, at Abia State University, Nigeria. (CONFERENCE PAPER).

At international level, Professor Atidoga has the following publications to his credit:

1. Timothy F. Yerima & Daniel F. Atidoga, “Eradicating the Practice of Female Circumcision/ Female Genital Mutilation in Nigeria within the Context of Human Rights” (2014) Vol. 28, International Journal of Law, Policy and Globalization.  pp. 129-140.

2. D.F. Atidoga and Abubakar Ishaq “Was Genocide Committed against the Igbo Nation of South Eastern Nigeria during the Nigerian Civil War? The Law of Genocide on Trial” (2018) The Gambia Law Review Vol. 1, Issue 1. pp. 269 – 295

3. D. F Atidoga, Ibrahim Abdulkarim and A.D. Opaluwa “A Bird’s Eye View of Application of Treaties in Nigeria: A Caution against Tactical Ambush” (2019) The Gambia Law Review  Vol.2, Issue 2.

4. D.F Atidoga, “International Legal Regime on the Crime of Genocide: Prescription for Reinvigoration” (2018)Faculty of Law Journal, Kampala International University, v0l.2, Issue 2, pp. 197 – 244

5. D.F. Atidoga, “Socio-Religious Crises in Nigeria: The Subsisting Challenge of Boko-Haram Insurgency And Joint Task Force (JTF) Counterinsurgency Measures in the Context of Crimes Against Humanity, Presented at the International Conference of Law, Order and Criminal Justice (ICLOCJ) 2014, November 19-20, 2014,  at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.


Professor Atidoga’s work are also found in several pages of local and international textbooks. Only few shall be mentioned here to wit:

1. D.F Atidoga, “An Exposition of Remedies for Breach of Contract,” (2006), in Yerima and Elukpo (eds.) Essays on Law of Contract, Petoa Educational Publishers,(2006) Ado Ekiti, Nigeria.

2. Ajayi, Onuche and Atidoga, “Appraisal of the Nature of Personal Income Tax Settlement in Nigeria” in Olufemi Abifarin (ed).

3. D.F. Atidoga, The Law of Rape (2010) VDM Publishing House Germany.

Due to his invaluable contribution to legal development locally and internationally, Professor Atidoga has many times been called upon to take part as a member of several editorial boards which include:

1. D.F Atidoga, Member/Secretary, Editorial Board- Lokoja Journal of Law and Practice (2006), Vol. 1, No 1, A publication of Nigerian Bar Association, Lokoja Branch.

2. D.F. Atidoga, Editor, Journal of Contemporary Legal Issue (2009), Vol. 1, No. 1, Nigerian Bar Association, Idah Branch.

3. D.F. Atidoga General Editor/Secretary, Kogi State University Bi-Annual Journal of Public Law, (2009), Vol. 1, No.1.

4. D.F. Atidoga, Editor, (2015) Vol.7 Kogi State University Law Journal.

5. D.F Atidoga, Member, (2018) Editorial Board The Gambia Law Review

Professor Atidoga belongs to the following Professional Bodies:

1. Nigeria Bar Association (NBA)

2. Nigerian Association of Law Teachers (NALT)

3. International Association of Genocide Scholars (IAGS)

4. European Society of International Law (ESIL)

In the course of his teaching career as a University Don, Professor Atidoga has supervised several undergraduate, postgraduate/PhD research works locally and internationally, and has also taught the following undergraduate courses: Criminal Law, Legal Method, International Law, Criminology, Legal Drafting and Conveyance, Jurisprudence and Legal Theory, and Labour  Law. At Postgraduate level, Professor Atidoga has taught the following courses: Comparative Criminal Law, Legal Research, International Criminal Law, and Diplomatic  and Consular Law

Administratively, Professor Atidoga has held the following positions over the years:

1. Deputy Dean of Law, Faculty of Law, Kogi State University, Anyigba (2015-2018)

2. Chairman, Anti-Corruption and Transparency Unit, Kogi State University (2016-2018)

3. Examination Officer, Faculty of Law, Kogi State University, Anyigba:     2006-2009

4. Member, Senate Committee on Students’ Union Election (2009-2013) ( SUG as at 2009?)

5. Chairman, Faculty of Law, Kogi State University Examination Committee (2007-2011)

6. Member, Senate Committee on Convocation (2008)

7. Faculty of Law PG. Coordinator, Kogi State University (2015-2017)

8. Member, PG Committee investigatingAllegationof Irregularity in Faculty of Management Sciences (2015)

9. Member, Faculty of Law Curriculum Review Committee (2017)

10. Member Committee to Review Schemes and Conditions of Service (2019)

11. PG  Coordinator, Faculty of Law, University of the Gambia (2019-)

In legal practice, Professor Atidoga has had his working experience in the following establishments:

1. Personnel Department Ohafia L.G.C. Abia State, Nigeria (NYSC Scheme) (2003-2004).

2. R.I. Idakwoji & Co., Jos Road, Kaduna, Nigeria (2004-2005).

3. Agoli Abubakar Sadiq & Co., Anyigba, Nigeria (2005-2008).

4. Atidoga, Atidoga & Co., Anyigba, Nigeria (2008-to-date).

5. Faculty of Law, Kogi State University, Anyigba, Nigeria:

Assistant Lecturer (2006-2009),

Lecturer II (2009-2011).

Lecturer I (2011- 2015).

Senior Lecturer (2015-2018).

Associate Professor (2018).                

6. Faculty of Law, University of the Gambia, 2018(Visiting/Technical Assistance)

Professor of Law (2018).

At the risk of reptition, Professor D. F. Atidoga is presently an Associate Professor of Law, Kogi State University, Anyigba, Nigeria, and a Visiting Professor of Law, University of the Gambia.

In terms of family life, Professor Atidoga is happily married to a beautiful diva, Barr. Mrs. Ojonigwu Atidoga Nee Edime, and the marriage is blessed with children. His hobbies are: Reading/Researching, Playing Football and Thinking.

Deservedly, Professor Atidoga was recently appointed DVC (Academics), Kogi State University, Anyigba, in North-Central Nigeria. His appointment did not come as a surprise because he has paid his dues through hard work and relentless passion for the development of law and education both in Nigeria and outside Nigeria. His appointment indeed, came at a time his invaluable contributions, knowledge, experience, managerial skillsand expertise are most needed in order to restore Kogi State University, Anyigba back to its lost status and glory as an academic center of excellence second to none!

– S. O. Akobe is a Legal Practitioner and former Student of Professor D. F. Atidoga.

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