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Grand Mullah to young lawyers: You don’t need to practice in Nairobi to make it

Inspiring. Wise. These two words describe Nairobi lawyer Ahmednassir Abdullahi. Born in little known village in Mandera county, he is today a force to reckon with in the legal profession.

 Lawyer Ahmednassir Abdullahi, SC during Churchill Show interview. Photo/COURTESY

He shares his views on social media and his practice. He had an interactive engagement with Daniel Ndambuki aka Churchill.

From his love for cars, his mansions and law, the Senior Counsel gave nuggets of wisdom to today’s upcoming lawyers, many who are unemployed and with no income.

“We have three kitchens here. There is enough for everyone.”, he tells Churchill as they settled down for the interview.

Ahmednassir did his O-Levels in Mandera secondary school before qualifying to be admitted to Nairobi School. It is in Patch where he developed his passion to study law.

He says he had chosen to do BA (Bachelor of Arts) in Government but Mr Kanyi, a teacher, picked his paper and changed it to LL.B. (Bachelor of Laws).

He has five children; a boy and four girls. He was born in a family of nine siblings.

Mandera is a border town where “international trade” takes place among Kenyan, Somalian and Ethiopian citizens.

Throughout his friendly chat with Mr Ndambuki, the Senior Counsel (SC) keeps referring to his home county and other rural areas as full of opportunities which most people especially the youth have not explored and exploited. He says they only go to Nairobi for “greener” pastures.

To disabuse the notion that Nairobi is better than Mandera, Isiolo, Moyale, Machakos, Mwingi and other Kenyan towns, he tells Churchill that grass is also green in those other towns. That the grass is not only green in Nairobi City.

In his studies, Ahmednassir says he was never an A student. He was a B student.


After leaving Patch, he went to the University of Nairobi where did his law degree. Later, he enrolled at Cornell University for further studies. It is an Ivy league school.

His wife got a first-class degree in Information Technology (IT) but dedicated her life to taking care of her family. “I told my wife that she will not work because we need someone to work at home. She is fulltime employed”.

He says he is usually at home with his family over the weekend when he is not working but wants to venture into farming in his 200-acre farm in Isinya.

The lawyer who has practiced for 25 years shares challenges he encountered during the Moi era. At one point, he gave a hard-hitting lecture and a judge got to know about it.

Justice Tom Mbaluto reprimanded him at Milimani law courts for having a radical view in the seminar he presented.  

In reply, he told the judge that he will not apologize and if he wants, he can write a contrary opinion and be heard just as the lawyer was.

Another setback to the legal profession that the flamboyant lawyer reveals is the rot in the Judiciary.

While showing his loathe for corruption, Ahmednassir declares that he does not need to get rich at the public’s expense.

“For me, personally, I don’t have to steal from the public. I like doing cases against people who think they are very powerful and rich. These are the kind of cases which make me go the extra mile”, says the bespectacled Grand Mullah.


He also dismisses the thought of one day joining politics. “Politics is not my cup of tea”, he says. He goes on, “People join politics to steal. I have not seen a politician who has not made more money in politics than he did outside”.

Ahmednassir describes his experience in the legal profession by what he calls a “tough neighbourhood”. He says unlike in US and Europe where cases are won and lost on strength, Kenya is not there yet since some lawyers and judges play games.

While revisiting the case where his Bentley car windscreen was damaged while plying a government road, he says that the State has to be responsible in its work with citizens. “I deserve a duty of care”, he says. He is still waiting for cheque compensating him for the damage where he sued the State. He says he did not sue the government for money but for accountability.

He is an advocate of fairness and believes that his work inspires young people to make a difference in their lives.

While remembering the late Makueni senator Mutula Kilonzo as a sharp legal mind this country had, he said Mutula Senior was the best lawyer in town: the President’s lawyer and Kanu lawyer. He taught the SC Professional Ethics at the Kenya School of Law.

He believes that although people work hard, their effort is very little and it is what God has planned that happens. “Human planning takes very small part. Everything else is destiny. Ni vile Mungu amepanga”, he concludes.



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