Court orders trial of Justice Salami for perjury
A Federal High Court in Abuja has granted the former governor of Ekiti State, Segun Oni, the permission to apply for an order that compels the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) to try the suspended President of the Court of Appeal (PCA), Justice Ayo Salami for perjury.
Mr Oni had on the 30th January filed a suit at the court for ‘an order to Mandamus’ to compel the AGF to try Justice Salami for perjury, an offence punishable with 14years imprisonment.
Justice Peter Affen of the High Court, Abuja granted the order after listening to counsel to Mr Oni, Olusegun Ilori, who argued that “it is in the interest of justice, fair-play and the rule of law to prosecute the suspended President of the Court of Appeal, for “giving false evidence as the prosecution which borders on an issue of national interest, public concern, social justice and equality before the law.”
Mr Ilori claimed that Justice Salami deposed to facts in his affidavit of February 7, 2011 and march 31, 2011, of the existence of a state of affairs which were later shown not only to be false, but also to have been made knowing those facts to be false, with the aim of misleading conclusion in a judicial proceedings in contravention of sections156, 157 and 158 of the penal code laws of the Federal Capital Territory.
In giving the order Justice Affen said though leave for mandamus was not “granted merely for the asking” he exercised his discretion to grant the leave in view of its” public interest nature”. He subsequently ordered the Attorney General to be served within 14 days and adjourned the matter till 8th of March, 2012.
Mr Oni, who instituted the case said “it is in the interest of justice, fair-play and the rule of law to prosecute the suspended President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Isa Ayo Salami, for giving false evidence as the prosecution borders on an issue of national interest, public concern, social justice and equality before the law.”
It will be recalled that Justice Salami, led the four judges in the Court of Appeal ruling that sacked Mr Oni as the governor of Ekiti state in October 2010 and declared Kayode Fayemi of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) the winner of the re-run election in Ekiti state.
Justice Salami was suspended last August based on the recommendation of the National Judicial Commission (NJC) for misconduct following the controversy that surrounded his accusation that the then Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Katsina-Alu had prevailed on him to change his judgement on the 2007 Sokoto governorship appeal case.