Umaru Mutallab

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Umaru Abdul Mutallab
Born (1939-12-15) 15 December 1939 (age 76)
Katsina Town, Nigeria
Residence Funtua, Katsina State
Nationality Nigerian
Alma mater Barewa College, Zaria; Achimota College, Accra, Ghana; and South West London College, London
Occupation Banker
Known for Former Chairman of First Bank of Nigeria; father of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab
Title Alhaji
Religion Islam
Spouse(s) 2
Children 16
Awards Nigerian Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON);
Italian Commander of the Order of Merit

Alhaji Umaru Abdul Mutallab (born 15 December 1939) is a Nigerian business and banking leader, and former minister of Economic Development under the military government of Murtala Mohammed. He played a major role in introducing Islamic banking into Nigeria. Mutallab was described by The New York Times as "among Nigeria's richest and most prominent men," by The Telegraph as being "one of Nigeria's most prominent bankers", and by The Guardian as being "one of the country's most respected businessmen".[1][2][3][4] Mutallab's son, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, is a student who attempted to detonate plastic explosives aboard Northwest Airlines Flight 253 on 25 December 2009.


Mutallab was born to the family of Abdul Mutallab Barade, an officer in the Funtua Works Dept. He lives in Funtua, in Katsina State in Muslim north Nigeria,[1] though reportedly the family owns homes in London and Ghana as well.[5] The family owns at least three homes in Nigeria (in Abuja, Funtua, and Kaduna).[6][7]


He attended Barewa College, Zaria, Achimota College, Accra, Ghana, and the South West London College, London. He was awarded an honorary doctoral degree by the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife.[citation needed]


After completing his school certificate examinations in December 1959, the following January, Mutallab began work as a clerk with the firm of Pannell, Fitzpatrick and Company, Kaduna. He then traveled for further studies, returning to Nigeria in 1968, when he was appointed Chief Accountant of the Defense Industries Corporation of Nigeria. In 1971, he became the financial controller of the New Nigerian Development Company, Kaduna, before becoming the firm's General Manager in 1975. Mutallab was a Federal Commissioner (i.e., Minister) of Economic Development (1975),[8] he was relieved of the position after the failed military coup that led to the death of Murtala Mohammed.[9] However, he was later named the new Minister of Cooperatives and Supplies (1976).[10][11] He was later a member of Nigeria's Federal Executive Council (1976–78). He left to serve as Executive vice-chairman, managing director, and CEO of the United Bank for Africa (UBA) (1978–88).[12][13][14][15]

He is the former Chairman of Nigeria's oldest and largest bank, First Bank of Nigeria Plc (1999–2009).[16][17]

Mutallab has also served on the boards of directors of several companies, including Arewa Textile Limited, NEPA, NACB, NCC, Nigeria Agip Oil, and Cement Company of Nigeria, and in 2009 was Chairman of several companies, including Impressit Bakolori Plc, Incar Nigeria Plc, and Spring Waters Nigeria Limited (SWAN).[18]

He is chairman of the Nigeria's first Islamic bank, Jaiz Bank International Plc, which was established in 2003.[19]

Mutallab is chairman of the Business Working Group of the Vision 20:2020 Committee in Nigeria, and president of the Old Boys Association of Barewa College.[20] He is a Fellow of both the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (FCCA) and the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (FCA).

Mutallab was awarded the title of Commander of the Order of the Niger, one of Nigeria's highest honours.[21]

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the suspected Northwest Airlines Flight 253 bomber

Personal life[edit]

Though very religious, Mutallab does not consider himself a religious extremist, explaining that he learned the capacity for tolerance while attending Barewa College which had students from many parts of the country and 'gives' a feeling of togetherness.[9] Mutallab is a close friend of Hamza Zayyad, former head of the Technical Committee of Privatization and Commercialization, Zayyad convinced him to take on accounting as a profession. He is the major shareholder in Barade Holdings and Barumark Investment and Development Company.

Son: Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab[edit]

Mutallab had agreed in July 2009 to allow his son, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the youngest of his 16 children and a son of the second of his two wives (who is from Yemen), to return to the San'a Institute for the Arabic Language in Yemen to study Arabic from August to September 2009.<[22] ref name=WP-20091228/>[6] His son apparently left the Institute after a month, while remaining in Yemen.[6][23][24] In October, his son sent him a text message saying that he wanted to study sharia and Arabic in a seven-year course in Yemen.[6] His father threatened to cut off his funding, whereupon his son said he was "already getting everything for free".[6]

Mutallab reported to two CIA officers at the US Embassy in Abuja, Nigeria, on 19 November 2009,[23][25] regarding his son's "extreme religious views", and told the embassy that he might be in Yemen.[6][26][27] His son's name was added in November 2009 to the US's 550,000-name Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment, a database of the US National Counterterrorism Center.[28] His US visa was not revoked.[6] On 25 December 2009, Umar was implicated in the attempted bombing of Northwest Airlines Flight 253.[22]


  1. ^ a b Kennedy, Dominic (28 December 2009). "Abdulmutallab's bomb plans began with classroom defence of 9/11". The Times. London. Retrieved 28 December 2009. 
  2. ^ Rayner, Gordon, "Detroit terror attack: timeline", The Telegraph, 30 December 2009. Retrieved 30 December 2009
  3. ^ "Rich and privileged – the gilded life of would-be plane bomber," The Guardian, 27 December 2009. Retrieved 29 December 2009
  4. ^ "Terror Inquiry Looks at Suspect’s Time in Britain", The New York Times, 29 December 2009. Retrieved 30 December 2009
  5. ^ Oriyomi, Rafiu, "Nigerian Terror Suspect (Profile)", Islam Online, 27 December 2009, accessed 29 December 2009
  6. ^ a b c d e f g Newell, Claire; Lamb, Christina; Ungoed-Thomas, Jon; Gourlay, Chris; Dowling, Kevin; Tobin, Dominic (3 January 2010). "Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab: one boy's journey to jihad". The Sunday Times. London. Archived from the original on 1 June 2010. Retrieved 10 July 2015. 
  7. ^ Rice, Xan (31 December 2009). "Bombing suspect was pious pupil who shunned high life of the rich". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 26 May 2010. 
  8. ^ Africa, Issues 41–52, Africa Journal Ltd., 1975
  9. ^ a b Seye Kehinde. (22 January 1990). Umaru Mutallab: Man of Figures. ThisWeek, P. 29.
  10. ^ New African development, Volume 11, International Communications, African Development Magazine Ltd., 1977
  11. ^ Leadership in Nigeria (to date): an analysis, C.A.N. Publicity, Northern Zone
  12. ^ West Africa, West Africa Pub. Co., ltd., 1982
  13. ^ Sub-Saharan Africa report, Issues 2757–2760, p. 36, United States. Foreign Broadcast Information Service, 1983
  14. ^ Newswatch, Volume 6, p. 27, Newswatch Communications Ltd., 1987, accessed 29 December 2009
  15. ^ Ife social sciences review, Volumes 6–8, University of Ife, Faculty of Social Sciences, Obafemi Awolowo University, Faculty of Social Sciences, 1983, accessed 29 December 2009
  16. ^ "Father of Terror Suspect Warned US Embassy". Sphere. AOL News. 26 December 2009. Retrieved 29 December 2009. [dead link]
  17. ^ Newswatch, Volume 41, Issues 15–25, p. 38, Newswatch Communications Ltd., 2005
  18. ^ "Mutallab, First Bank chairman retires", Champion Newspaper, 16 December 2009, accessed 29 December 2009
  19. ^ [1]
  20. ^ "Yar' Adua: Mutallab urges for more prayers". Vanguard. 19 December 2009. Retrieved 28 December 2009. 
  21. ^ Morris, Loveday (2 January 2010). "The anatomy of a suicide bomber". The National. Retrieved July 10, 2015. 
  22. ^ a b Sengupta, Kim; Usborne, David (28 December 2009). "Nigerian in aircraft attack linked to London mosque", The Independent, accessed 28 December 2009
  23. ^ a b DeYoung, Karen & Leahy, Michael (28 December 2009). "Uninvestigated terrorism warning about Detroit suspect called not unusual". The Washington Post. Retrieved 27 December 2009. 
  24. ^ Elliott, Philip; and Baldor, Lolita C. "Obama: US Intel Had Info Ahead of Airliner Attack", ABC News, 29 December 2009. Retrieved 30 December 2009.
  25. ^ "Abdulmutallab Shocks Family, Friends". CBS News. 28 December 2009. Retrieved 28 December 2009. 
  26. ^ "Obama orders review of US no-fly lists". Agence France-Presse. Retrieved 28 December 2009. 
  27. ^ Lipton, Eric & Shane, Scott (27 December 2009). "More Questions on Why Terror Suspect Was Not Stopped". The New York Times. Retrieved 27 December 2009. 
  28. ^ "Father of Terror Suspect Reportedly Warned U.S. About Son". Fox News Channel. 26 December 2009. Retrieved 28 December 2009. 

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