Saturday, July 30, 2011

President Court Of Appeal, Justice Salami Faces Jail

After the consideration of the five-man panel that probed the alleged rot in the judiciary by the National judicial council (NJC) on Thursday, it set up a three-man panel headed by the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Ibrahim Auta, to recommend sanctions for The President of appeal court, Justice Ayo Isa Salami who was indicted for perjury against the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Aloysius Katsina-Alu and unethical relationship with chieftains of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN).
Perjury is an offence punishable under law with a jail term.
Salami's fate would be determined on August 9, when the new panel will submit the reoport.
Meanwhile the Nation newspaper, was upbeat about what may be the fate of Salami in his Friday news report written below:

Barely 24 hours after receiving a report on the crisis in the Judiciary, the National Judicial Council (NJC) may have ignited another fire.
A panel to review the findings of Justice Umaru Abdullahi’s Fact-Finding Panel, which examined the feud between the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Aloysius Katsina-Alu and the President of the Court of Appeal (PCA), Justice Isa Ayo Salami, has been set up.

The Abdullahi Panel cleared both the CJN and the PCA of all the allegations against them.

But, some members of the NJC insisted that another panel, headed by the President of the Federal High Court, Justice Ibrahim Auta, be asked to make specific recommendations on the findings of the panel.

Some members of the Council, it was learnt, opposed the constitution of Auta’s Panel because it is "awkward" in the judiciary for a junior officer to decide the fate of his superiors.

It was also gathered that the fears over Auta’s Panel followed alleged lopsidedness in the composition of the NJC.

A source in the Council said: "What Umaru Abdullahi’s Fact-Finding Panel wanted was a reconciliation of both the CJN and Salami so that the judiciary can move forward.

"But some members of the NJC wanted outright sanction against Salami, which is an abuse of the reunification spirit of what Abdullahi’s Panel did. Their plot is to ensure that Salami is either removed or compulsorily retired along with Katsina-Alu.

"They have raised Auta’s Panel when they know that in the judiciary a junior officer cannot decide the fate of his seniors. Why will the President of the Federal High Court now determine the fate of the CJN and the President of the Court of appeal?

"Politics and desperation have crept into our rank and it is just unfortunate."

Another source said: "The NJC cannot sideline the peace brokered by Abdullahi’s Panel for another round of crisis.

"For instance, the same members that pressed for Auta’s Panel are very much aware that majority of those in NJC today were nominated by the CJN. Do you expect them to do otherwise? Where is that sign of equity and justice for Salami?

"I think some people are out to destroy the judiciary for no just cause. And it is just unfortunate."

The source said the NJC was divided on Wednesday over the report of the Fact-Finding Panel. When the report of Justice Abdullahi was to be presented, some members of the NJC, including a former President of the NBA, Chief Rotimi, challenged the propriety of Justice Dahiru Musdapher presiding over the Council meeting when he also appeared before Abdullahi’s Panel," the source said, adding:

"Another judge at the session also supported the observation. At a point, the NJC members decided to excuse ex-officio colleagues from the session.

As at press time, it was unclear how soon the Auta Panel will review the findings of the Abdullahi Panel.


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