FG will not reinstate Justice Salami – Minister of Justice

Channels Television  
Updated May 22, 2012
The suspended President of the Court of Appeals, Justice Ayo Salami

The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke on Tuesday said that the Federal Government will not reinstate the suspended President of the court of appeal, Justice Ayo Salami.

The Minister disclosed this while responding to questions at a ministerial platform, a programme where cabinet ministers highlight their achievements in the last one year.

Mr Adoke, who recalled that the NJC had in last year August, forwarded a letter to President Goodluck Jonathan suspending Justice Salami at same time recommending his retirement, said that the Federal Government immediately approved his suspension and put on hold the issue of retirement since the suspended judge took the matter to court.

He said the President could however not act on the resolution to recall the suspended judge because a court process on the matter was also served on the government the same day the NJC sent the letter to reinstate him.

“As it is today, the matter is subjudice,” the Justice Minister said.

“The matter is in court and no responsible government will try to overreach the court.”

“This government will do the right thing as soon as the judiciary puts its acts together.”

Mr Adoke added that the same misconception that trailed Justice Salami’s case has been extended to James Ibori’s conviction in London with the condemnation of Nigerian judiciary by the “uninformed”.

“The fact that ibori was convicted there does not in any way discredit the Nigerian judiciary because they have used plea bargain in securing his conviction,” Mr Adoke said.

The Minister said that if the same plea bargain was applied here in Mr Ibori’s case Nigerians would have condemned it.

The NJC had on Wednesday reversed itself and approved the reinstatement of Justice Salami, in a decision that promises to bring to an end several months of bickering within the nation’s judiciary.

The Judicial Reform Committee headed by a former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Muhammadu Uwais, constituted by Chief Justice of Nigeria, Dahiru Musdapher had absolved Justice Salami, who was suspended last August 18 by the same NJC, of any wrongdoing and recommended that he should be reinstated.