SALAMI: NJC IN MARATHON EMERGENCY MEETING
The tension in the judiciary over the controversial elevation of President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Ayo Salami to the Supreme Court may soon be doused with reports that the National Judicial Council (NJC) which mooted the idea may have rescinded its decision.
In Abuja, a marathon emergency meeting of the 24 members of the Council was held for several hours to deliberate over the issue.
Unconfirmed reports said the meeting decided to quash the proposed promotion of Justice Salami after a careful deliberation of the matter given the controversy that has trailed the action.
Members of the body include, President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Mr. Joseph Daudu (SAN), former NBA president, Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN), Olisa Agbakoba (SAN), retired Supreme Court Justice, Pius Aderemi (JSC), Justice Emmanuel Ayoola, Chief Judge of Federal High court, Dan Abutu, President of the Court of Appeal Ayo Salami, Justice Dahiru Musdapha, Justice Akpiroroh (retd), former PCAJ, Justice Umaru Abdullahi, Grand Khadi Abubakar Shettima, Justice Kate Adiri, Justice Innocent Uwazurike (Chief Judge of Enugu State) and former NBA president, Chief OCJ Okocha (SAN).
Sources said the decision to quash the promotion of Justice Salami was taken after the meeting agreed that it was improper to force anyone into any type of promotion if they did not desire it. Although no official of the NJC has confirmed this position, insider sources told Daily Sun that the meeting would likely continue today to take a final position on the matter. Meanwhile,the raging feud between Justice Salami and the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Aloysius Iyorgher Kastina-Alu over the said promotion to the Supreme Court reached a climax yesterday with a suit brought against the CJN by Justice Salami.
In the suit, Justice Salami alleged that he was approached by the CJN to compromise the Court of Appeal's judgment on the Sokoto governorship battle. In the originating summons filed by his counsel, Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), the plaintiff named the Federal Judicial Service Commission, the National Judicial Council and the Attorney General of Federation (AGF) as 2nd to 4th Defendants/ Respondents respectively.
He specifically accused Katsina-Alu in his supporting affidavit of asking him to compromise the Court of Appeal's judgment with respect to the Sokoto Governorship legal battle. Salami said he was asked by the CJN to either reconstitute the original panel, which he (Katsina-Alu) believed was about to give a verdict adverse to the governor's interest or direct the panel to give judgment in the governor's favour.