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Civil society group attacks Tinubu on Salami.....says he's to blame for corrupting the Judiciary

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A civil society group :the Society for the Rule of law in Nigeria (SRLN) has described the statement credited to Senator Bola Tinubu ACN leader berating President Jonathan for not reinstating Suspended Justice Isa Salami as "hypocritical and uncharitable"

Tinubu had described the non implementation of the latest recommendation of the NJC council recalling and pardoning Salami as "a coup against the rule of law"

But the group in its reaction signed by its coordinator Comrade Chima Ubeku said ACN and its leader had become "masters of doublespeak; who have in the blind pursuit of political self interest, lost the correct definition of the rule of law. According to the group:"In one breath, ACN and its leader parrot the ideal of the Rule of Law; in another breath, they asked that the President overreach the courts to render nugatory all the cases instituted by Salami against his suspension and recommendation for retirement over allegations of misconduct and other cases against his re instatement before the Courts"

The group said the argument that Salami's case was in court when his suspension was announced and this anomaly should now be corrected by the President also committing the error once again, just to satisfy the ACN judicial cabal stands as evidence of lack of deep thinking and fraudulent judicial reasoning saying that Tinubu statement conveniently overlooked the fact that Jonathan failed to implement the NJC recommendation for Salami's retirement - alluding to the need not to overreach the court because of Salami's suit challenging the NJC action suspending him. Also forgotten according to them was the fact that if Jonathan had implemented this recommendation , the volte face of the NJC would not have mattered

Comrade Ubeku Said rather than castigate the President, Tinubu should indeed should be fingered for his corruptive influence on the nation's judiciary; which became an issue with the increasing incidence of political judgements and the overt chest- beating of his pervasive influence on the Nigerian judiciary in the aftermath of the 2007 elections.

He said :"it also now clear as crystal that Tinubu"s political weevil has eaten deep into the judicial firmament of Nigeria, and the civil society groups who now pander to the wishes of the ACN leader to the detriment of the rule of law and democracy"

The group also blamed successive PDP regimes at the Federal level-for not embarking on judicial reforms that could have provided a conducive environment to encourage conscientious judges and flush out corrupt ones, until considerable damage was done to its electoral fortunes reffering to the open admission by Justice IsaSalami that while in Lagos, Tinubu supplied his courts regularly with diesel despite budgetary provision for same by the judiciary ,

"Does it not worry pro -democracy groups how the ACN leader has been championing the brazen misconduct and unethical activities of a judge who was adjudged by the highest judicial body of lying on oath,and which our law enforcement agencies are shy from prosecuting? what is the special interest of ACN such that the ACN Governors of Ekiti and Osun arranged demonstrations in the streets in support of Salami, when he is neither an indigene of their state nor a staff? What about the printing and distribution of Salami posters in Abuja and ACN States as if he was contesting for a political position? Why was the ACN not interested in the other judges in Nassarrawa, Plateau and Ekiti states who have been similarly punished by the NJC? Why would Salami, who is in court challenging the status of the NJC as his employer, now be ready to be re instated by the same NJC?" the group stated,

Ubeku said it was clear that justice Salami has been tainted by the ACN that he can no longer discharge his duties as an impartial judge - an irreducible condition prescribed by the Constitution and the code of conduct for judicial officers. "Despite the whitewash of the NJC, the allegations of undue conviviality with ACN leaders which the telephone call logs presented to the NJC administrative enquiry by former Governors Oni and Oyinlola constitute a stain on the assumed white robe of the judiciary. The latest admission by the MTN has now validated this breach of code of conduct by Salami" The society concluded by asking the ACN leader to disclose his real interest in the Salami debacle that has made him go to such a level to politicize the issues that are within the precincts of the Court adding that ACN's contempt for our Courts, due process and the rule of law has reached alarming levels

28 May 2012.

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Articles by Akinmola Ade