Colleagues, friends betrayed me - Justice Salami

By The Citizen

Retired President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Isa Ayo Salami, on Thursday disclosed that his colleagues and friends in the judiciary betrayed him during his trying time.

Justice Salami, who likened his case to that of the biblical Joseph, who was sold to slavery, by his family members, faulted roles the National Judicial Council (NJC) played in the events leading to his suspension.

He contended that NJC, by its conduct, sold out to the Executive and failed in its duties and functions.

Justice Salami argued that not only was the NJC wrong in suspending him, having lacked the constitutional powers to so act, it also acted wrongly when it asked President Goodluck Jonathan to suspend him.

Justice Salami, who retired on October 15 as the court's fifth President, spoke during a valedictory court session held in his honour by the court.

The Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Mohammed Adoke (SAN) was absent at the event. He also did not send any representative.

The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Aloma Mukhtar, former CJN, Justice Mohammed Uwais, Justice Mahmood Mohammed of the Supreme Court and the President of the National Industrial Court, Justice Babatunde Adejumo were among those at the event.

Justice Salami, dressed in the ceremonial gown of Justices of the court, presided over proceedings. He sat on the seat he occupied until August 18, 2011 when he was purportedly suspended by President Jonathan.

He wondered why the NJC created by the Constitution to protect judicial officers (judges) abandoned its responsibilities and sold out in his case.