Alhaji Sani Ashafa Suleiman was born on the 22nd of July, 1937. He hailed from Nasarawa. His parents ensured that he received both Islamic and western education. He started in 1943 at Central Primary School, Nasarawa. He then proceeded to middle school in Katsina Ala, Benue State, before moving to the then Provisional Secondary School, Bida (now Government College Bida). He attended the Teacher Training College in Katsina, Katsina State and the prestigious Ahmadu Bello University where he earned his NCE in 1965. Next, he proceeded to earn a diploma in Teaching of English Language as a Second Language in 1968 from the University of Leeds and a bachelor’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Wisconsin, USA in 1974. He also took an Advanced Management Course in the Administrative Staff College of Nigeria and the Royal Institute of Public Administration in 1977.
He was a founding trustee of the Islamic Education Trust fund, having teamed up with his friends, Dr. Sheikh Ahmed Lemu and Hajiya B. Aisha Lemu, to establish the Islamic Education Trust and to manage it during its early years in Sokoto. He had an outstanding career in the civil service. He served as a Director in the Ministry of Education as well the Director of General Studies in the University of Sokoto. When he was transferred to Abuja in 1989, he served a dual role – the pioneer Chairman for Primary Schools Management Board as well as the Director, Agency for Mass Education. He also served as a board member for the Code of Conduct bureau. He retired from active service as a Director with the Primary Education Board, in 1997.
He was part of the first inaugurated officials of the Abuja National Mosque and had actively participated in voluntary assistance to Hajj pilgrims for many years. He also gave much attention to his spiritual life. As of the time he passed away, he had undertaken a personal project of writing adhkar and duas by hand and reading the entire Qur’an chapter by chapter. He also paid attention to the welfare of his family members. While doing all this, he was still an active trustee, attending meetings and activities in Minna, including the laying of the DIN hostel foundation stone in February 1998. He passed away on Monday, April 20, 1998.
He was happily married with nine children.