NJC Appoints Replacement For Justice Salami As Head Corruption Monitoring Committee

Salami Rejects Corruption Trial Monitoring Committee Appointment
File photo: Justice Ayo Salami

The National Judicial Council (NJC) has replaced a former President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Ayo Salami, as the head of the Corruption and Financial Crime Cases Trial Monitoring Committee (COTRIMCO).

The Director of Information of the NJC, Mr Soji Oye, said on Tuesday that Salami was replaced by a retired Justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Suleiman Galadima.

Galadima replaces Ayo Salami, retired president of the court of appeal, who earlier rejected the appointment for personal reasons.

Mr Oye in the statement said Galadima and other members of the committee would be inaugurated at the Supreme Court by 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday, November 1.

The statement read, “The National Judicial Council under the chairmanship of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Honourable Justice Walter Nkanu Onnoghen, GCON, has picked a retired Justice of the Supreme Court, Honourable Justice Mr Suleiman Galadima, CFR, as the new chairman of the Corruption and Financial Crime Cases Trial Monitoring Committee,” the statement read.

“He is to replace Honourable Justice Mr Ayo Salami (retired) who excused himself from the committee as the chairman, after initially accepting to serve.

“The committee will be inaugurated tomorrow, Wednesday, November 1st, 2017 by Honourable Justice Mr Onnoghen, at the Council’s Conference Hall by 2:00 p.m.”

Honourable Justice Mr Galadima, CFR, was born October 1946 in Nasarawa State. He attended Government College Keffi where he obtained the West Africa School Certificate in 1965 before he proceeded to Ahmadu Bello University where he obtained a bachelor’s degree in Law in 1977 and was called to the Bar after he graduated from the Nigerian Law School in 1978.

He later received a master’s degree in Law from the University of Jos in 1985.

He joined the Anambra State Judiciary as Magistrate on July 1988 and in 1990, he was appointed as Attorney General and the Commissioner for Justice, Plateau state. On May 1991, he became the High Court Judge of Plateau State. At the creation of Nasarawa State in 1996, he was appointed as its pioneer Chief Judge of the State.

On December 9, 1998, he was appointed to the Court of Appeal and on August 2010, he was appointed to the Supreme Court of Nigeria.

He retired on October 10, 2016, at the mandatory retirement age of 70 years.

Galadima is famous for his leading judgement in Shina Oketaolegun Vs. State, SC. 334A/2012, wherein he held that the Court of Appeal correctly reviewed the evidence led by both the prosecution and the defence in which he agreed that the evidence of one credible witness can justify the conviction.

The newly set up Corruption and Financial Crime Cases Trial Monitoring Committee which will be inaugurated tomorrow, November 1, is made up of the following:

The Committee is made up of:

S/N

NAME

DESIGNATION

1

Hon. Justice Suleiman Galadima, CFR

Chairman

2

Hon. Justice Kashim Zannah (OFR),

Chief Judge, Borno State

3

Hon. Justice P.O. Nnadi,

Chief Judge, Imo State

4

Hon. Justice Marsahal Umukoro,

Chief Judge Delta State

5

Hon. Justice M. L. Abimbola,

Chief Judge, Oyo State

6

Mr. A.B Mahmoud OON, SAN,

President, Nigerian Bar Association,

7

Chief Wole Olanipekun OFR SAN,

Former NBA President

8

Mr. Olisa Agbakoba OON SAN,

9

Mr. J.B Daudu SAN,

10

Mr. Augustine Alegeh SAN,

11

Dr. Garba Tetengi SAN,

Member, NJC

12

Mrs. R.I Inga

13

Mrs. Hajara Yusuf

Representative, Ministry of Justice

14

Alhaji Kabiru Alkali Mohammed, mni

Representative, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN).

15

Olanrewaju Sirajo

Representative, Non-Governmental Organisations

16

Ahmed Gambo Saleh, Esq

Secretary, NJC

Secretary

Court strikes out case against Salami’s reinstatement

A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja on Monday struck out the suit seeking to restrain President Goodluck Jonathan from reinstating the suspended President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Ayo Salami.

The supposed plaintiff, Wilfred Okoli, had in June told the court that he had no knowledge of the suit filed in his name.

Mr Okoli then formally applied to the court to discontinue the suit.

In the notice of discontinuance filed last Friday, Mr Okoli stated two grounds for seeking to discontinue the suit.

The defendants are the National Judicial Council (NJC), Justice Salami, the Attorney General of the Federation and President Jonathan.

Mr Okoli said: “I neither gave consent, nor authorised that the suit be instituted in the first instance. I did not brief anybody whatsoever to commence the suit on my behalf.

“I do not have any cause of action against any of the defendants”, he said.

An Abuja-based lawyer, Amobi Nzelu had filed the suit on behalf of Mr Okoli, asking the court to stop President Jonathan from acting on the recommendation sent to him by the NJC.

Mr Okoli, who was said to be a lawyer in Mr Amobi’s chamber in June, said he was not aware of this suit filed in his name, when the matter came up in court and parties in the matter were to enter appearances.

“My lord, I am not aware of this suit, my consent was never sought before it was brought before you. I have no knowledge of it,” he said.

Justice Abdul Kafarati however asked Misters Amobi and Okoli to go and put their houses in order before 22nd September, the next adjourned date.
The court also asked Amobi to ensure the 2nd defendant; Salami was served and renders report of service the court on the next adjourned day, September 22.

However, Okoli formally applied to court to discontinue further hearing on the suit on September 22.

In the notice of discontinuance dated June 22, Mr Okoli relied on two grounds to urge the court to hands off the matter.

According to him, “I neither gave consent nor authorised that the suit be instituted in the first instance. I did not brief anybody whatsoever to commence the suit on my behalf. I do not have any cause of action against any of the defendants.”

Justice Kafarati struck out the suit on the grounds that the supposed plaintiff had applied for discontinuance of the matter filed in his name, saying Amobi no longer can argue it before him.

Salami’s Recall:Approach is political than Legal – Emmanuel umoren

Another legal practitioner; Emmanuel Umoren reacted to the Salami saga going on saying the Attorney General should act as an Attorney General always in the sense from the angle of the law the Attorney General should advise the government on steps to take on certain issues in terms of law.

Umoren cited the instance where the NJC advised the Federal Government to suspend Justice Salami, meanwhile there was a matter in court, and the Attorney General did not advise the President not to go into action based on the advice of the NJC.

Now the same NJC has requested that Justice Salami be reinstated and the Attorney General is saying the he cannot be reinstated based on the case pending in the court of law.

Lawyer blames infiltration of politics into Judiciary for controversies on Justice Salami

A lawyer, Ikechukwu Ikeji on Tuesday said that the case between the suspended President of the Court of Appeals, Justice Ayo Salami and the Nigeria Judicial Council was due to the infiltration of politics into the judiciary.

Mr Ikeji said this while speaking as a guest in Channels Television breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily.

He said the reinstatement of the Justice was due to the cry of lawyers and other Nigerians.