‘Be­ing Jus­tice Asma’u Musa’s son made me choose bet­ter friends’

Umar Farouk Yusuf, 25, is a So­ci­ol­ogy grad­u­ate from Nasarawa State Univer­sity and the first child of Jus­tice Asma’u Musa, a for­mer Direc­tor of Pub­lic Pros­e­cu­tion with the Min­istry of Jus­tice and cur­rently a Judge with the High Court. In this in­ter­view, he

Weekly Trust - - Front Page - Haf­sah Abubakar Matazu

Daily Trust: Why do you call your mum ‘aunty’? Umar Farouk

Yusuf: While grow­ing up I heard ev­ery­one around the house call­ing her aunty and I thought that was her name. So I picked it up and have been call­ing her that ever since.

DT: What’s the re­la­tion­ship be­tween you and your mum like?

Yusuf: It’s a very strong one in­deed. She was there for me when a lot of peo­ple weren’t. She has taught me a lot about life. The re­la­tion­ship be­tween a son and a mother and es­pe­cially as a first born child is very unique.

DT: What trait of hers would you say you ad­mire the most? Yusuf: She is very re­li­gious and hard­work­ing. She taught me to be same.

DT: How would you de­scribe her?

Yusuf: She’s strict when she needs to be, but gen­er­ally she’s a re­ally re­laxed mum. Of course she’ll scold us when need be but oth­er­wise we’re like friends. But when she started hav­ing more cases on her hands, of­ten times we be­came con­fused whether she’s just be­ing strict or is stressed.

DT: How has your mum’s oc­cu­pa­tion as a lawyer played a part in your life?

Yusuf: As a so­ci­ol­ogy stu­dent she usu­ally tells me how peo­ple com­mit crimes in the so­ci­ety and it gives me in­sight into how peo­ple re­act, think and what peo­ple do in other place. It has im­pacted my life in so many ways.

DT: Have you ever con­sid­ered fol­low­ing in your mother’s foot­steps?

Yusuf: Yes. She usu­ally tells me I would have made a good lawyer, but my own pas­sion is else­where. I have al­ways been in­ter­ested in agri­cul­ture right from child­hood and even though I didn’t study agri­cul­ture I’m still a farmer. I’ve al­ways wanted to do my own thing. But I ac­tu­ally wanted my younger sis­ter to fol­low in her foot­steps and study Law. She would have made a great lawyer too but she de­cided to study Mi­cro­bi­ol­ogy in­stead.

DT: Can you re­mem­ber a piece of ad­vice she has given you which has stuck with you?

Yusuf: I can re­mem­ber many but one that res­onates is the one about friends. She keeps telling me to be care­ful with the kind of friends I choose. They can in­flu­ence one’s life greatly and can con­trib­ute to your fail­ure or suc­cess in life, so you need to be care­ful who you keep as friends.

DT: What’s her favourite food?

She loves watch­ing crime and in­ves­tiga­tive films. I guess it’s the lawyer in her be­cause that’s pretty much all she watches I don’t see her be­ing any­thing other than a lawyer but oth­er­wise, I be­lieve she would make a very good doc­tor be­cause she pays at­ten­tion to peo­ple even as a judge

Yusuf: Se­movita with dried okra soup.

DT: What does she en­joy watch­ing on TV?

Yusuf: She loves watch­ing crime and in­ves­tiga­tive films. I guess it’s the lawyer in her be­cause that’s pretty much all she watches. DT: How does she un­wind?

Yusuf: Dur­ing the week­ends she cooks for us, spends time with us at home and spends the whole week­end in­doors.

DT: If your mum wasn’t a lawyer, what other pro­fes­sion do you think she would have done well in?

Yusuf: I don’t see her be­ing any­thing other than a lawyer but oth­er­wise, I be­lieve she would make a very good doc­tor be­cause she pays at­ten­tion to peo­ple even as a judge, re­gard­less of what you bring to her. She al­ways has a lis­ten­ing ear; she cares about peo­ple a lot.

DT: What unique as­pect of your mum are peo­ple not aware of?

Yusuf: Many peo­ple don’t know that she can be re­ally tough be­cause she doesn’t show that to peo­ple out­side. She comes off as a soft and gen­tle per­son.

DT: What’s the best part of hav­ing a judge for a mum?

Yusuf: It’s hard to lie to her be­cause she can eas­ily tell when you’re ly­ing but in the long run it be­comes an ad­van­tage to you be­cause you can’t risk ly­ing to her about any­thing. So it has taught me to be an hon­est per­son in ev­ery­thing I do.

Umar Farouk Yusuf

Jus­tice Asma’u Musa, with son Umar Farouk

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