Salami Agrees To Retire, Gives Conditions

0
244

STRONG indications have emerged that the suspended President of
the Court of Appeal, Justice Ayo Isa Salami, has agreed in principle to a
conditional early retirement from service, Nigerian Tribune was reliably
informed on Monday night.

Following a complicated judicial
intervention in his suspension, the National Judicial Council (NJC) at its last
meeting on October 18, 2012, resolved on early retirement for him with full
benefits, including when he was supposedly on suspension.

The Chief Justice of Nigeria, who
doubles as the council’s chairman, Justice Aloma Mariam Mukthar and her deputy,
Justice Mahmud Mohammed were asked by the council to communicate the decision
to him.

A Senior Advocate, who belongs to Salami’s camp revealed to Nigerian Tribune
that Salami had given conditions for calling time on his career before the
original October 14, 2013 date, when he would clock the mandatory 70 years.

It was gathered that the proposal
from the judiciary leadership was for Salami to tender his early retirement
notice, withdraw his pending suit challenging his suspension before being
reinstated to office for three months.
At the expiration of the said three
months, the council would simply accept his retirement.
The source, who confirmed that
Salami had agreed to spending three months and calling it quits, noted that the
untenable aspect was the proposed tender of retirement notice before resuming
office, querying why it should not be the other way round.
When Nigerian Tribune raised the
issue of trust considering Salami’s acknowledged strong personality, the source
noted that it was for the judiciary leadership to trust him, since he had
already shifted ground on the matter by agreeing in principle to the proposal.
According to the source, “This is
what I tell you about the bias and double-face approach of the judiciary
leadership. Why can’t they trust him that he would send his retirement notice
to the council after resuming in office? At least, he has agreed to the
three-month in office before retirement proposal, so why can’t he retire when
in office. If they can’t trust him, why should he also trust them that the
whole arrangement would not change after tendering his retirement notice before
resumption in office.”
The source, who is also embittered
over the rejection of Justice Ifeoma Jombo-Ofo as a Justice of the Court of
Appeal by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, further slammed the judiciary
leadership over what he called “convenience arrangement to issues.”
According to him, “when Salami was
reinstated, they said he could not resume office because the matter was
subjudice. Is the issue no longer subjudice now that he is being asked to
resume and retire? Are the cases no longer in court now that they are looking
for a way out of the crisis? When it is convenient for them (judiciary
leadership), they say one thing, when it is the other way, they say another
thing.
Why should they think that he
(Salami) would renege on the agreement when reinstated? What is the assurance
that they also would not renege on the agreement if he gave in to the demand of
retirement notice first.”
Meanwhile, it has been revealed
that the acting President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Dalhatu Adamu may be
serving the final three months as the head of the intermediate court.
He is on the fifth term which has
given him 15 months as the acting head of the court, following Salami’s
suspension on May 18, 2011.
The current three-month period ends
on November 22, 2012 which is the date that the NJC had fixed for its emergency
meeting.
A source in the know told the
Nigerian Tribune that the twin issues of Court of Appeal headship and
Jombo-Ofo’s controversial appointment and disqualification as a justice of the
court, would dominate issues at the meeting.
The council’s last meeting for this
year has been reportedly scheduled for December.
Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa who heads
the Court of Appeal, Abuja Division, is reportedly tipped to replace Adamu as
the most senior justice of the court.
Adamu came under fire during the
last council meeting, especially his alleged inability to give off-hand the
number of the judges of the Sharia Court of Appeal, when reportedly asked by
the CJN.
The CJN and Adamu served at a point
in their careers, at the Ibadan division of the court.
He was later excused from the
council meeting when Salami issue was to be discussed and reportedly
disappeared from the meeting venue before the conclusion of the said meeting,
even when he was reportedly being sought for.
Alleged maladministration and
corruption issues had kept hovering over his leadership in the last 15 months,
with justices and staff of the court being allegedly owed salaries and
allowances.
The Chief Registrar of the Court
told the Nigerian Tribune during a chat that the court received its allocation
late from the NJC, which led to the delay in paying the justices.
Source: Tribune

LEAVE A REPLY

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.