Judgement Day For Salami As NJC Explains Why It Refused Court Papers
LONDON, August 18, (THEWILL) – It is judgement day for the President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Ayo Isa Salami as the National Judicial Council (NJC) meets Thursday to deliberate on sanctions for the top judge following his refusal to tender apologies to both the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Aloysius Katsina-Alu and the Council.
Recall that the NJC had issued a directive with a 7-day ultimatum to Salami to apologise after a probe panel discovered that he lied when he alleged that Katsina-Alu approached him to influence the decision of the Sokoto State Governorship Election Tribunal.
It is however unclear who would chair today’s meeting as NJC Chairman, Justice Katsina-Alu may not be eligible to seat as he is a party in the matter, while his deputy and likely successor, Justice Dahiru Musdapher is away in Saudi Arabia for the Ramadan.
In a related development, the NJC has explained its refusal to accept the court papers in the suit filed by Salami seeking to quash the work of the two panels that investigated him and the CJN. The suit is also seeking to block the NJC’s directive to him to apologise.
In a Wednesday statement by its Director of Administration, Mr. Eugene Odukwu, the Council said it would only accept duly signed papers.
The statement said, “In the matter under reference, a Writ of Summons purportedly issued by the Federal High Court, Abuja Division was brought to the Council by two Lawyers namely; Messrs Oluwaseun Ben and Joshua U. Oghene on 15th August, 2011 from Chief Akinlolu Olujinmi, SAN Chambers.
“The Writ was taken to the Office of the Assistant Chief Confidential Secretary of the Council by the two Lawyers.
“After perusing through the Writ, the Assistant Chief Confidential Secretary discovered that it was undated and unsigned.
“Consequently, the Assistant Chief Confidential Secretary sought for clearance on the matter from the Secretary of the Council.
“The Secretary of the Council directed the Assistant Chief Confidential Secretary to meet the undersigned to reconfirm if the Writ was actually undated and unsigned.
“After meticulously going through the purported Writ, I confirmed that it was unsigned and undated.
“Based on my findings, in the presence of the Assistant Chief Confidential Secretary, I told one of the Lawyers, Oluwaseun Ben Esq. that the Writ was actually undated and unsigned and could not be accepted.
“In the presence of the Assistant Chief Confidential Secretary, the Lawyer admitted that the non-signing and dating of the Writ was a mistake from the Court Registry of the Federal High Court, Abuja Division.”