Adamu Jakada

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Adamu Jakada was a Nigerian businessman and trader who was involved in the lucrative groundnut industry in Kano after 1912. He was later accused of being a spy for the colonial authorities by the emir.

Jakada's knowledge of pidgin English made him a trader of interest for the Niger company. He became an agent for the company but accusations of espionage led to his economic downfall with the emir counseling Arab, Lebanese and Hausa traders to declare a price war on Jakada.


Jakada was born to a Hausa farming family from the city of Daura. He started trading in his youth when he joined a few caravans and dabbled into trading in Kano cloth. While trading, he visited Lokoja where he met Mr Wallace, an agent of the Royal Niger Company. He was then made an interpreter and messenger for the company and later became a 'political informant'. Between 1898 and 1903, he carried on with his services as an informant, and was involved in taking the British tribute to Sokoto in 1900, detailing the compositions of the Kano emirate's tribute to Sokoto and once trying to persuade Emir Abbas to concede to British rule in Kano. When Lugard became a regional Governor, he maintained the services of Jakada.

By 1907, he was based in Kano but was at odds with Emir Abbas who is believed tried to ruin his businesses. His prices were undercut and his agents encountered difficulties. But 5 years later, some of the problems appeared to have receded. Then in 1912, he was involved in trade in Lokoja and Ghana and traded Kano cloth and European goods. Later, when the Niger Company came to Kano and found itself in competition for the groundnut business, it called upon Jakada whom the company had trusted due to prior business relations.