By Ibrahim Ahmad Kala, LL.M
An array to his biography culled from the ‘Icon & Archiever in Gombe State’ reveals that, Hon. Justice Hakila Yalla Heman was born on the 4th September, 1954 in Nyuwar, Balanga Local Government Area, Gombe state. Educated at Primary School, Nyuwar from 1962 to 1968, and Government Secondary School, Kaltungo from1968 to 1973, Hon Justice Heman proceeded to the North-East College of Arts and Science (now University of Maiduguri) from 1973 to 1975. He thereafter, got admitted to read Law at the prestigious Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria in 1975 and graduated with LL.B degree (Hon) in 1978. His Lordship was immediately enrolled into Nigerian Law School in 1978, and was later Called-to-Bar in July,1979 accordingly.
His Lordship’s sojourn into public service could be traced from 1978 when he joined the service of the defunct Bauchi state Ministry of Justice as Legal Trainee. He rose to the position of State Counsel in 1980, and subsequently, Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) in 1986. Between 1988 and 1989, he was Solicitor – General and Director – General, Ministry of Justice, Bauchi state. He was appointed Attorney General/Commissioner of Justice in the defunct Bauchi State from 1989 to 1990.
His Lordship’s judicial carrier in the bench glowed with his appointment as a judge of High Court of Justice, in then Bauchi State on the 9th August, 1990. While on the bench, My Lord was made the Chairman, Robbery and Firearms Tribunal, Bauchi state in 1995. Upon the creation of Gombe State out of Bauchi state in 1996, His Lordship still remained a Judge of High Court of justice of Gombe state and still reserved his position as the Chairman of the robbery tribunal from 1997 to 1999. My Lord reached the zenith of his carrier on the 3rd May, 1998 when he rose to the position of Hon. Chief Judge, Gombe State – a position he deligently hold until his retirement on the 4th September, 2019.
Hon Justice H.Y. Heman, legal jurist and administrator served in several capacities in various commissions and boards. He was a member, High Powered Board of Inquiry into the finances of all Boards, Parastatals and Commissions in Bauchi State 1979 to 1984; Member, prosecuting Team in the Supreme Military Tribunal at Dodson Barrack, Lagos, 1984; Member, Judicial Commission of Inquiry into the Circumstances Surrounding the Missing Motor Vehicles, Motocycles and Bicycles Confiscated from Banned Political Parties, Bauchi state, 1986; Member, High Powered Committee for Establishing Teachers Service Commission, Bauchi state 1985; Counsel to the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into Maitatsine Civil Disturbances, 1985; Counsel to the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into Faulty Construction Works in Some Educational Institutions in Bauchi state, 1986; Member, High Powered Committee of Inquiry into Fire Incidence of Women Teachers College, Nabardo, Bauch state, 1987; Member, Screening Committee of Candidates for Local Government Elections, Bauchi state, 1987; Member, Board of Governors, National Judicial Institute, Abuja. In 1998, upon elevation of our noble Lord, the current President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Zainab A. Bulkachuwa to the appellate court, Justice Heman was then sworn to as the Chief Judge of Gombe state – a position His Lordship held for more than two decades, and unarguably, one of the most longest Chief Judge in Nigeria.
No any closing farewell remark befit this Legal Clossus than what was credited to Jacques in his literature book, “As You Like It” by William Shakespear: Act 2, Scene 7:
“All the world is a stage. And all the men and women merely players. They have there entrance and their exits. And one mean in his time plays many parts. His acts being seven ages”.
A Fulbright legal guru who has garnered extensive experience in all area of law with numerous honors under his belt, Hon justice Hakila Yalla Heman CON, has played his part having attained the mandatory retirement age of 65 years on the 4th September, 2019. I wish my noble Law Lord happy retirement!
Barr. Kala is a.researcher and can be reached via email@example.com