Salami’s forced retirement, setback for Nigeria’s judiciary- NBA

Justice Ayo Salami

The lawyers’ union boss described the NJCs decision as ‘evil triumphing over good.’


The Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, Ikeja branch, has faulted the directive by the National Judicial Council (NJC) that Ayo Salami, the suspended President of the Court of Appeal, should proceed on early retirement.

The NJC had in a meeting on Oct.18 in Abuja recommended early retirement with full benefits for Salami.

Mr. Salami, who was suspended from office on August 18 by the NJC, is due for retirement on October 14, 2013.

The Chairman of the NBA, Ikeja branch, Onyekachi Ubani, in a telephone interview on Monday, described the decision as a setback for the judiciary.

“This is the worst decision ever taken by the NJC because it is a clear case of evil triumphing over good.

“Salami represented an interest. He represented those who believed in the truth. He represented those who were bold and courageous.

“The decision is a great setback to the judiciary because it is a clear case of punishing somebody for what he did not do,” the lawyer said.

According to him, the NJC’s directive contradicted the much-canvassed judiciary reform of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Aloma Mukthar.

“If this can happen in Nigeria, it means that all the so-called talks about judicial reforms are mere talks.

“This has greatly reduced the people’s confidence in the judiciary,” he said.

Mr. Ubani called on the council to rescind the decision and recall Salami to his previous position until he retires on October 14.

Mr. Salami was suspended from office by the NJC on August 18, 2011 following a protracted dispute with the former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Aloysius Katsina-Alu.

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