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By NBF News
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President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Ayo Salami, has earned the ire of Tiv people of Benue State over his verbal attack on the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Aloysius Katsina-Alu, during his mourning period. Justice Salami was reported in a national daily to have described the CJN as somebody lacking in honour and integrity.

Reacting to the comment, National Chairman of Tiv Elders Consultative Forum (TECF) and astute politician, Dr. Godwin Dabo, described Salami's comments on the CJN as wicked, ungodly and callous, calling for his immediate resignation from office. Dabo, who spoke exclusively to our correspondent in Abuja, said even if Justice Salami had issues with the CJN, the timing of the attack barely 48 hours after the burial of his wife, was morally wrong and condemnable.

Dabo said he was, however, not surprised given the antecedent of Salami, adding that the attack on Katsina-Alu could only come from a heartless person.

But in a swift reaction, Dr. Dabo, who vouched for the integrity and honour of the CJN, said such attack was ill-timed and lacked merit, demanding an apology from Salami. According to the chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party [PDP], 'let me use this opportunity to condemn in very strong terms the ungodly allegation about the CJN's integrity. The CJN is somebody I know since his return from England and got his first job in Lagos before moving to the North. Of all the lawyers I have known in my life of about 40 years, the man with the greatest integrity, honour, respectability and who values the truth is Justice Katsina-Alu.

For Salami to allege that the CJN lacked honour and integrity is wicked, mischievous, ungodly, satanic and the handiwork of a drowning man. Justice Salami should have at least waited for sometime before coming out with such baseless allegations, because the CJN just buried his wife barley 48 hours ago only for him to be attacked by Justice Salami.

If you look at the antecedent of Justice Katsina-Alu, he is a man of honour, a man who is not greedy and very respectful, a man who has refused to exploit his historic position for personal advantage. Now, Salami cannot make such comments against him because the CJN is a gentleman.

'I want to use this opportunity to inform Nigerians that Justice Salami has no business being in the nation's judiciary. Because of the grave damage he has done to the judiciary, it is completely unfair to continue to keep him in office. This is because one of the greatest assets of the legal profession is decorum and self-respect, and Salami lacked all these.'

'So, I think Justice Salami owes Nigerians an apology for making such comments at this particular time. No matter his bitterness with the CJN, Salami would have exercised patience until the mourning period of the CJN's wife is over.

'The attempt by Salami to end the CJN's tenure before his retirement would fail because majority of lawyers who appeared before Justice Katsina-Alu have testified on his level of transparency, humility and integrity, so Salami should not have made such a statement.'