On 3rd May, sometimes in the 60s, before the Nigerian Civil War, a different scenario was playing out in the household of one of the scions of the Atta Royal family in Ebiraland, in today’s Kogi State.
That was the day Alhaji Shehu Ibrahim Atta of Kuroko, Adavi Local Government Area, through Hajia Ashawu Ireyi Obangede, welcomed a new addition to his flourishing household. The new arrival, a baby girl, was subsequently named Ramatu. But not even in Alhaji Shehu Ibrahim Atta’s wildest imagination did he envisage that his daughter would achieve a lot educationally and professionally, to add honour and pride to the family name.
Ramatu Shehu, as popularly called because there were other elder Ramatus in the family, began her educational odyssey at the now defunct Native Authority (Central Primary School), Okene. The next step found her at the reputable Queen Elizabeth School, IIorin, designed to be the best in the country for the education and moral training of the girl child at the time, and the destination point of a lot of girls in Northern Nigeria who would eventually make their mark in various fields of endeavours across the country.
Perhaps due to her innate sense of justice, when the time came for her to get to a tertiary education, she opted to study law at the Bayero University, Kano. Ramatu successfully navigated this first phase of legal training at Bayero University, Kano then proceeded to the Nigeria Law School in Lagos, a requisite step in the process of becoming not only a lawyer, but having the license to be a practicing one.
Upon completion of legal studies at the law school, she was posted for the one year national service to llorin, where she did her primary assignment at the chambers of Bayo Ojo, Senior Advocate of Nigeria, (SAN) and a one time Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice. Here she began to feel the ropes of proper legal practice and later took an employment with the Federal Ministry of Justice as a Legal Research Assistant, She later transferred her service to the Federal Capital Territory Judicial Service Committee, where her long journey in the judiciary with noteworthy landmarks took off.
Not long after relocating to Abuja, Ramatu Shehu Atta earned an international posting to be a magistrate in Gambia under the Technical Aid Corp (TAC) from 1997 to 1999. On her return to Nigeria, her capabilities were duly recognized and rewarded as she showed the capacity in handling of each new assignment which earned rapid elevation.
Thus, she was exposed to a wealth of enriching experiences at the magistrates cadres to administrative levels.
As a magistrate, she presided over many cases; civil and criminal. She also sat on various task forces (market, road traffic offences task forces) as well as presiding over Election Petition Tribunals as a member and chairman of the tribunal respectively.
Subsequently, she became the director of litigation, in the litigation department, it was her responsibility to assess case files and recommend to the Hon. CJ for assignment to the various courts or Judges for adjudication. She keeps custody of documents under litigation to ensure safe custody of valuables like cash deposits, title documents of land etc.
She equally served as a member of the Judiciary Tenders Board, she competently facilitated and analysing of bids with other members to the award of contracts.
Two noteworthy positions in Ramatu Shehu Atta’s career in the judiciary which cannot be overlooked are;
As the secretary of the FCT Judicial Service Committee, Ramatu Shehu Atta was responsible for Secretariat; appointments, disciplinary action of staff, recommendations through the National council for appointments of Chief Judges and Judges of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory.
Then as the Chief Registrar, she was responsible for the welfare of the Chief Judge, Judges and support staff. She was also responsible for the management and general administration of the court. She was also responsible for interfacing with other courts and departments on behalf of the High Court and the Sheriff of the courts.
These appointments most certainly gave her the edge when she was appointed as the Registrar General of the Abuja Multi-Door Court given its uniqueness in the country’s judicial system of dispensing justice through Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR).
Ramatu Shehu Atta’s diligence in judicial services earned her various commendations particularly from her constituency and most importantly from her superiors that she worked with and these include some past FCT Chief Judges like His Royal Highness, Hon. Justice Lawal Hassan Gummi (rtd.) now Emir of Zamfara State, Hon. Justice I. M. Bukar, rtd., and Hon. Justice Ishaq U. Bello, rtd.
By the time she retired with an unblemished record in 2017, she did not see retirement as a step into oblivion. She enrolled with the Nigeria Defence Academy where she obtained a Mphil in Leadership and Strategic Studies (Mphil/LSS), Masters in Leadership and Strategic Studies (MLSS) and currently pursuing PhD in the same field.
She had already planned ahead by foreseeing the possibility of continuing to provide meaningful service to the public through a private platform, and had gone ahead to register the community-based *Ramatu Shehu Atta Care Foundation* which had started activities as early as 2008 in poverty alleviation, girl-child education, youth leadership and entrepreneurial training, livelihood support, good governance and research and documentation in most of these areas.
Happily married with children.
Ramatu Shehu Atta is now fully involved in political activities as she took part as a Senatorial Aspirant in the last Kogi Central Senatorial race, under the platform of the All Progressive Congress, where she was defeated at the primary election.
She was not discourage nor deterred rather, her group ‘RSA Political Presure Group’ metamorphosed into ‘RSA 4 Tinubu/Shettima, 2023.’ She has continued to charge the members of her political birthed organisation, RSA 4 Tinubu/Shettima, 2023, to work towards the victory of the APC Presidential team and all APC Candidates in Kogi Central Senatorial district, come 2023.
Ramatu Shehu Atta’s vision is for a progressive Kogi Central, State and entire Nigeria. On this selfless service to the public, she has been tenacious, courageous and inspiring in her actions and I must add that the good women and youths of Kogi State love her for it.
– Abdullah Nobleman wrote from Okene.