Hope dims for Salami’s reinstatement
The National Judicial Council (NJC) on Thursday failed to take a decisive action towards the reinstatement of the suspended President of the Nigerian Court of Appeal, Justice Ayo Salami.
The NJC reportedly reasoned that taking any action on Justice Salami would be prejudicial, as he had cases pending in the High Court and Court of Appeal.
Expectations were high that the council might recall him on Thursday, due to its claim that it had exclusive power to reinstate him without presidential inputs.
Justice Salami was suspended by the council on 18 August 2011 for misconduct and pardoned on May 11, 2012, with the council sending a yet-to-be replied memo to President Goodluck Jonathan to return him to office.
A source at the meeting said though the issue of Justice Salami reinstatement was not originally in the agenda of the Council presided over by the Chief Judge of Nigeria, Justice Aloma Muhktar, when it was mentioned; it dominated the day’s deliberation.
The source said the members were divided when the matter was brought up for discussion. While some of the members said it was necessary to take a decisive action on the matter, others said any action on the matter would amount to contempt of court.
Apart from the suit instituted by Justice Salami challenging his suspension and seeking to determine his lawful employer, both the suit in his favour by the group and one against him by the national secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and ousted governor of Osun State, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, were still pending in various courts and at different stages.
The council members reportedly argued against making any moves that would undermine the courts hearing the suits and, by extension, the judiciary.
It was reportedly unanimously agreed that all issues relating to his return should be put on hold until all the cases were concluded.