By Kazeem Adekunle
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Smarting from the vote of no confidence passed on the Appeal Court by the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), the Elections Transparency Group

(EJG) has urged the National Judicial Council (NJC) to remove the President of the Appellate Court, Justice Isa Ayo Salami from office without further delay.

The group also accused Justice Salami of paying secret visit to “one of the beneficiaries of his judicial abracadabra,” Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State last week Thursday under the guise of inspecting the State Court of Appeal project.

According to a statement issued in Abuja by its National Coordinator, Dr. Kazeem Adekunle, the ETG said the position of the NBA as expressed last week by its President, Mr. Joseph Daudu at the inauguration of the new executive committee of the Abuja chapter of the association was weighty and must not be treated with levity by the NJC.

“Just last week Thursday, Justice Salami was at the Ekiti State Government House to meet Governor Fayemi and from information available to us, the visit was shrouded in secrecy. Instead of the office, Justice Salami was hosted in the governor's residence without press coverage and when he (Salami) was leaving, he left with cash running into several millions of naira,” EJG alleged.

While calling on the NJC to save the Appeal Court by removing Justice Salami and his cronies, the group said; “If in truth, there are 52 judges in the Court of Appeal and only eight or nine of them have been involved in election cases in the last three years, then something must be wrong somewhere and the NJC cannot afford to keep silent over this kind of allegation.

“It is on record that when the immediate past President of the Appeal Court, Justice Umaru Abdulai retired, a lavish reception was organised for him by the Lagos State government. In attendance during the reception were Action Congress of Nigeria sole-financier, Mr. Bola Tinubu, Governor Fashola of Lagos State and other stalwarts of the ACN.

“The question to be asked is; what favour did Justice Umaru Abdulai do to Governor Fashola and his godfather, Tinubu that they treated him to a lavish reception immediately after he (Abdulai) retired? Such a lavish reception could only have been organised for Justice Abdullahi for no other reason than Fashola, Tinubu, and other ACN members and lawyers to say THANK YOU to the Appeal Court President for a job 'WELL DONE'.

“The new position of the NBA on the rot in the Appeal Court is therefore a welcome development and the NJC should take the bull by the horns in bringing sanity to the bench of the Appellate Court.”

While also calling on the NJC to probe Justice Salami's secret visit to Governor Fayemi last Thursday, the ETG said; “It is embarrassing that a judge holding a very high position as the Appeal Court president would choose to throw decency to the dogs by paying a secret visit to a governor, who is celebrating 100 days of his 'appointment as governor' by the Appeal Court.”