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NJC Suspends Appeal Court President!


The National Judicial Council (NJC) has placed the President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Isa Ayo Salami on suspension for failing to tender written apologies to the council and the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Aloysius Katsina-Alu as directed by the NJC last week.
Apart from refusing to apologize, Justice Salami had gone to court with a prayer that the NJC should be barred from taking any action against him. When the council was to be served with the summons, it was rejected on the claim that it was neither signed nor dated; a claim that has continued to generate discussions.
Street Journal’s investigations revealed that the decision to sanction the Appeal Court President was arrived at during a meeting of the council today. The suspension was confirmed via a statement signed by Eugene Odukwu, the Director of Administration of the NJC. According to the statement, the suspension is with immediate effect.
It is already being insinuated in some quarters that the suspension might be part of a grand plot to do away with Justice Salami before appeals start trickling in, since it is a known fact that no electoral matter ever ends in the court of first instance. Moreover, with his removal, Justice Salami will not be able to preside on the presidential election tribunal.
Street Journal’s investigation also revealed that the Chief Justice of Nigeria is more or less in control of the NJC as the council’s membership include Chief Justice of Nigeria who is the Chairman, the next most senior Justice of the Supreme Court who serves as the Deputy Chairman, the President of the Court of Appeal, five retired justices selected by the Chief Justice of Nigeria from the Supreme Court or court of Appeal, the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court; five Chief Judges of States who are appointed by the Chief Justice of Nigeria from among the Chief Judges of the States and of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja in rotation; those in this category serve for two years.
Those who had thought the war between the senior judges would end soon are already changing the notion as many are watching for Justice Salami’s next move.
Meanwhile, Justice Dalhatu Adamu has been appointed as the Acting President of the Court of Appeal.

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