It’s official: Justice Salami rejects appointment to monitor corruption cases

Justice Ayo Salami

The Chief Justice of Nigeria and Chairman of the National Judicial Council, Walter Onnoghen, has confirmed the resignation of retired Justice Ayo Salami as Chairperson of the Corruption and Financial Crimes Cases Trial Monitoring Committee.

Mr. Salami was appointed chairperson of the committee by the NJC in September, years after he left office as president of the Appeal Court under controversial circumstances.

A statement from the NJC’s Director of Communication, Soji Oye, announced the appointment, saying Mr. Salami would head a 15-member committee to implement the task of monitoring corruption cases in the country.

“The Committee’s primary functions include; Regular monitoring and evaluation of proceedings at designated courts for financial and economic crimes nationwide; Advising the Chief Justice of Nigeria on how to eliminate delay in the trial of alleged corruption cases; Giving feedback to the Council on progress of cases in the designated courts, conduct background checks on judges selected for the designated courts; and Evaluating the performance of the designated courts,” Mr. Oye said.

Mr. Onnoghen’s spokesperson, Awassam Bassey, confirmed to PREMIUM TIMES on Thursday that Mr. Salami had turned down the appointment.

“Besides what we see in the media, we cannot exactly say what Justice Salami’s reasons are for declining to undertake this all-important national assignment that he was called upon to perform,” he said.

“His Lordship the Hon Chief Justice of Nigeria awaits Hon Salami’s letter of resignation. That’s all I can say at this moment. A more detailed response will be communicated to you when we receive Hon. Mr. Justice Salami’s letter.”


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  • Abdullah Musa

    He does not want to be enmeshed in insincerity.

  • Mama Chinedu

    Man of principle and wisdom. There should be more like him. There is still hope for our father land.

    • Iskacountryman

      apc principle…how can a thief watch over thieves…

  • Dazmillion

    Demented Buhari will not recognize corruption even if it walked into his bedroom and gave him a dirty slap.

    • Fulani Nomad

      Though not the best, at least he can be able to see the difference between ‘Corruption’ and ‘Stealing’.

  • sola

    I really respect his decision. After sending him out in a controversial circumstances, now they realise he’s one of the best man for the job..kudos to Hon. Justice Salami..

    • Saburi

      it was dubious jonathan that sent him out

      • sola

        Yes, dubious Jonathan “Government ” now another Government wants him back..simply..he has learnt his lesson..

  • Sam

    Good decision, how on earth can you bring together JB Daudu and his gang to be part of a team to monitor corrupt judges? The man knows where it will lead is better he reject the offer .

    • wode

      Spot on. I doubt if there is any other reason for the resignation.

  • Moneyz N Horseyz

    No reasonable man will want to board a sinking ship for the days of this despicable government are numbered.


    If the President Buhari wanted to fill EVEY SINGLE government position with an honest and competent man; he can do it.

    The reason this has not been done is because there are other more important considerations to President Buhari than honesty and capacity.

    President Buhari needs to stop thinking the way he currently does.

    People are suffering and Nigeria is bleeding. Every single things our President has achieved since he came to power are things that a serious president can achieve within 6 moths to a year. But he doesn’t have the team nor does he have the competence.

    I wish President Buhari good luck but he needs to change how he thinks. Nigeria can be better but he only needs to make better decisions.

  • JasV

    How can you resign from a job that you did not accept in the first place?

  • Tunde

    When Honest men refuse appointments PMB; you know you are in trouble! Salami probably is unwilling to work with a team full of questionable character.

    You should learn from his example PMB; your team will bring you down if you do not change them now. Some of them are of questionable character; Remove them before it’s too late! This is your last opportunity sir!

    We, your supporters cannot vouch for your team and your government any longer! Do the right thing please!

    • WeeFree ✓

      Why PMB, or is PMB the CJN that appointed him?

      • Tunde

        In Naija, the buck stops with PMB; perception is everything. The current perception is PMB’s executive, Judiciary and Legislooters are corrupt! That’s all people see! Honest people will not want to associate with it, regardless of who’s the head of MDA or parastatal.

  • wode

    The man was set up to fail considering the constituents of the committee. I mean some members of the committee are corruption personified while some are accomplices to corrupt politicians. So, how would they now sincerely monitor corruption and appropriately advise the CJN without serving interests different from the one for which they are constituted in the first place?

    • Factsayer

      U mean cash n carry judgement Salami?
      He is like asking a thief to monitor thieves

    • Passionate about Nigeria

      I don’t blame him. The secretary of the committee is Gambo Saleh, former Chief Registrar of the Supreme Court who was charged with stealing 2.2 billion public funds, yet Malami stopped the prosecution against him. What a farce! Good judgement Justice Salami…

  • Factsayer

    He has to run bcoz people eyes don open. His corrupt past as a judge is still following him.

    A thief cannot be a monitor of his fellow thieves.

    • Passionate about Nigeria

      You speak matters you do not know. Go and find out what really went down then talk.

  • Obinna

    Great guy!!!!

    • Ilu Daru


      It is impossible to fight corruption under Muhamadu Buhari because
      fish rots from the head. Nothing else goes on in Buhari’s government
      besides STEALING and CORRUPTION. As at today there are no fair
      accounts tendered of the gross total amount of 15 trillion Naira that
      Buhari received and claimed to have spent between May 29, 2015,
      and now. Because Buhari seemingly runs a den of thieves there’s no attempt, not even by pretence to accountability.

      Justice Sslami read the tea leaves correctly that Nigeria is under the
      Rule of Thieves today with black masks worn as cover and marked in bright colours with the word CHANGE – just so as to flatter to deceive.
      Court papers just filed by the police in court reportedly contain admissions
      that Buhari’s wife, Aisha, had PRIVATELY asked the Inspector General Police for two veiled and was promptly gifted with two sports utility veichles costing 80 million Naira, un-appropriated by the legislature.

    • thusspokez

      “Great guy” for what? Why are so many of you so ignorant or choose to be so? This man has a dodgy past and was outed by PT in September this year. Ever since, he had come under pressure. And this was why he rejected the job.

  • Suleiman Alatise

    Good one, the CJN must first weed out the likes of the pig from Kaduna before anyone can take him serious.

  • DanJ

    He should be sent to the UN where his services will be appreciated until we are truly ready.

    • thusspokez

      The UN do not employ people with dodgy past.

      • WeeFree ✓

        He doesn’t have a dodgy past you nitwit, go read why Jonathan removed him before vomiting crap here, but you probably know already you son of corruption.

  • So oju abe niko

    PMB has a lot to learn from Justice Salami’s action – you cannot get something from nothing. There is a transcript of Dr. Junaid Mohammed’s interview in current circulation. Assuming the claim in the interview is true, then Nigerians need not look further on why this government is floundering very badly. PMB can simply not run a government of integrity on a faulty foundation. Nobody can now pretend that PMB’s kitchen cabinet is considerably worse than GEJ’s,

    [Interview begins]:
    Lawrence The most patriotic Nigerian is President Buhari. Ask me why.
    Charity begins at home.
    See his cabinet.

    ‘’Mamman Daura is a powerful member of President Buhari’s kitchen cabinet. In fact, he is considered by most as the de facto Vice President of Nigeria. Most critical decisions – such as the choice of Ministers and other important appointments – have been credited to him. He even lives in Aso Rock. Mamman Daura is President Buhari’s nephew. His father is the elder brother of Buhari. Mamman Daura has a son. His name is Kabir Daura. He is President Buhari’s Personal Assistant.
    Abba Kyari is the Chief of Staff to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. He also happens to be the foster child of – Yes. You guessed it – Mamman Daura.

    Then there is Hadi Sirika. Hadi Sirika is the Minister of State for Aviation. He is the son of Buhari’s elder sister. Buhari Private Secretary, Mikano is his son in-law. Hadi Sirika has an elder sister – a niece of Buhari. Her name is Amina Zakari.
    Amina Zakari was INEC acting Chairman last year. Then there is Aisha Abubakar. She wasn’t even a member of the APC. But all that didn’t matter. But today, she is the Minister of State for Trade, Industry and Investment. Her mother is Buhari’s sister.

    So, friends, there you have it. And, thanks for your time. I guess we can all now go back to our various lives and continue pretending not to notice how our national affair has become one man’s family affair.”

    • Timothy

      When you become president you can choose whoever you want to work with…am surprised you did not mention Buhari’s son or Aisha in the mix of things Now because he has Abba Kyari, Hadi Sirika…that is now a national issue? You guys need to get yourself examined seriously….what has Buhari done that others didnt do? We have Jonathan’s cousin and nephews all over the govt? Many people from the Niger Delta region benefited from his govt. We had people on OBJ’s tenure from his own family members, his wife even occupied the illegal position of first lady and no one made a noise about it….simply because he has a nephew and a niece in govt has made him a bad guy?

      • Passionate about Nigeria

        Seriously?? This thinking is why Nigeria is where it is today. Actually no, when you are running an organization ( and a country is an organization) you cannot unless you are bush and local “choose whoever you want to work with”. You should not choose people with whom you have a personal relationship eg family members, business partners etc so that a ” conflict of interest” does not arise. This is being professional and this lack of professionalism is what is stopping Buhari from disciplining errant behaviour and what has made some people “unsackable”….Any Nigerian who holds such strange views to wit, that it is alright to hire family members in official capacity is very local, unexposed and frankly bush. Where is such behaviour acceptable? Only in Nigeria

        • Timothy

          “You should not choose people with whom you have a personal relationship eg family members, business partners etc so that a ” conflict of interest” does not arise.”

          This is your own opinion and many may wish it so but its not always so…many head of organisations include their heirs (usually family members) into the board because they are the ones they trust the most…..many people enthrone their business legacy to their children when they retire….some even serve in management alongside a family members….this your ideology does not follow….my point is this….we make a big deal over nothing….if Buhari’s nephew or niece is not fit to handle the position then he would be removed….if you are looking for a professional hand to handle a critical area of business you wont employ sentiments or family…in this case its political and not technical bound to a professional field so that does not follow….he would have made them head of finance or NNPC…why didnt he? You know truly our problem in Nigeria is not that we lack the capacity to do what is right….but we employ undue sentiments into everything…such as its his niece, its his nephew, its his brother inlaw…blah blah blah….why not he cant do the job…or his not qualified…or his background is full questions….what if he can do the job so because he is family its not allowed?

          • Passionate about Nigeria

            It is not my opinion. Get a job in an international or global institution and see if such behaviour is condoned. So many policies, internal controls in place to check what you are calling normal. But I guess it’s a matter of exposure so I can’t blame you.

          • Timothy

            I understand what you mean…if we actually want to dwell there then lets say Buhari who has a son and daugheters of which are graduates of high degrees…they could fit into the shoes of any these positions…Abba K is a foster child not blood related….the woman they said she headed INEC was a relative not blood related directly…but here we are people making much fuss about it because they want to use it against him….if you work in an international company and a relatives wants to get a chop you will say please dont apply abeg we are family…is that the reason? Or that he cant work…yes a husband a wife cant work in the same company…a brother and sis cant work…but a relative…cousin is also not allowed? Are sure about that bros…

          • Passionate about Nigeria

            Yes I’m sure about it. I have even been privy to cases where we have had to terminate such appointments. One simply cannot be unbiased with a family member. You cannot discipline them as you would a total stranger. Business should not be personal.

    • Mufu Ola

      Your writeup quoting Junaid is shallow.So what if Buharii’s cousin has influence in govt? U people are too local & pedestrial in your arguments.So because somebody is President or PM or Chancellor,he must throw his friends & relations away. Most of these allegations are ” bad belle” gossips ,especially coming from Junaid.Any intelligent fellow with analytical mind would see malice in his comments. Note that he has problem with somebody from Kano,his hometown who Buhari appointed.I read d interview in Vanguard almost 2 years ago & I immediately concluded it was sour grapes.Trump’s children & friends are influential & visible in his govt.Americans are not complaining.We need to focus on more genuine & solid issues & not silly things about somebody “having a room in Aso Rock”.

      • Passionate about Nigeria

        Wrong the Americans did complain and in fact Congress have investigated members of Trump’s family for impropriety. I am rather surprised that you feel employing members of one’s family as being normal organizational behaviour. Have you ever heard of conflict of interest? This is why we are where we are as a nation. This thinking that it is alright to hire one’s family members in an official capacity is what is very local, parochial, pedestrian and frankly extremely bush. In civilised climes, it is seen as very unprofessional but in Nigeria people are actually justifying it.

        • Mufu Ola

          I never said it is proper to flood public office with one”s relation but it is very common EVERYWHERE in Nigeria.My point is Buhari’s case is being overdramatized by people who given chance will do or &done worse.In any case all those being mentioned byJunaid are in d realm of rumour & gossip by an interested & “offended” party.Junaid Mohammed have personal issue with that Kano appointee if u read the full interview in Vanguard early 2016.In Trump’s uproar or no uproar , those his relations are still there very powerful till today.

  • Absolutely Sane

    Mr. A.B Mahmoud(SAN); former NBA Presidents, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN); Mr. Olisa Agbakoba (SAN); Mr. J.B Daudu (SAN);
    4 people alone are enough reason for a man with integrity not to take
    such appointment. The committee will then be complete if Mike Ezekomeh
    is now added, forming a complete team of beneficiaries of corrupt

    • thusspokez

      What are you on about?


        You work with crooks, you become a crook


      You are Right. Salami does not want to work with CROOKS

  • Timothy

    No sweat its not a must to serve…it could be age factor or health factor…all the same we need to hear from him why he resigned…has he even started to say he is resigning? He simply turned down the offer and not that he signed…or did he accept and then turn it down?

    • thusspokez

      I can’t say that I am good at spotting the ethnicity of Nigerians by their names, but I am wondering if your sympathy is tribal. You would have to be on another planet not to have seen news reports of Salami’ dodgy past. In which case, I would suggest that you google:

      Controversially removed under Jonathan, Justice Salami

      • Timothy

        Yes I read the article and I (like you) concluded the man was corrupt…someone in the same discussion said the man did not want to bend to politicians especially the ones in power then so they framed him and have the president remove him….of course its their word against his…..who will listen to a lone ranger… was all politics….he was never prosecuted….he was never charged or arrested….simply removed…..Do you remember Sanusi and the missing billions? He was not asked how he came about it he was asked to go on compulsory leave….thats just an example of the country we have and type of leaders we have….back to the matter….Salami obviously had people who still believed him, e.g. Chief Justice of the Federation….his appointment was not because they lacked people who could do the job….the Chief felt this man was wrongly accused and wanted him to have an opportunity to serve….the chief judge has been in the Supreme Court for years before his appointments….they know these things….Why then would a Chief Judge appoint someone with questionable character to oversee corrupt cases? Put yourself in the Chief shoes….wouldnt you rather go for someone who does not have a dent in his record? Why not Prof Sagay? Why Salami? How can he trust this man to handle this job properly? Reason is simple….he knows something about this man we dont or They are both birds of the feather.

        • thusspokez

          .the Chief felt this man was wrongly accused and wanted him to have an opportunity to serve..

          What was the Chief Justice of the Federation (CJofF) proof that Justice Malami is innocent. Shouldn’t he have asked Malami to first go and clear his name before being offered the job?

          Why then would a Chief Judge appoint someone with questionable character to oversee corrupt cases?

          Yep, why did the CJofF appoint a person with dodgy character– a proven liar, in the list? I can think of many reasons including both being members of social club or secret organisation or fraternity — these judges are often members of secret fraternity or brotherhood where they call one another, ‘brothers’. and do one another favours.

          • Passionate about Nigeria

            I can tell you as an insider to the judicial system that you are so very wrong about Salami. I have read your repeated comments about Salami’s supposed “dodgy past” and just shake my head… If you said this about the CJN at that time I could accept you know what you are talking about. The facts of this matter and the issues surrounding Salami’s travails are known to lawyers and any one with a mind circumspect enough to undertake some minor investigation. Suffice to say, you are so off base. Lol…dodgy past…

          • thusspokez

            I can tell you as an insider

            Don’t give me this “insider” stuff. Gosh! You seriously think that I would accept your words as scripture because of your “insider” claim? (kiss teeth!). Besides you had said nothing concrete to enhance the discussion here except telling us that you had shook your head and “Salami’s travails are known to lawyers” yada yada yada. I was looking for counter arguments — not “believe what I tell you, because I said so!”.

          • Passionate about Nigeria

            Do a bit of research. Find an old -school SAN or judge and you will be educated (not sure your teeth will be kissed though lol) but you will definitely be educated dear lad.

          • thusspokez

            you will be educated… you will definitely be educated dear…

            It is amazing how some of you Nigerians can’t resist the urge to bring education into every discussion — given the poor state of education in Nigeria. I am well-educated and a product of some of the best fee-paying schools in the world — far superior to what you have in Nigeria — THANK YOU!

            Find an old -school SAN or judge

            Many of whom can’t communicate properly in English language or skilled in logic, not to mention their poor understanding of the law. Consequently, they are often court-shy and would offer bribes or cut deals to win cases rather than the traditional method of debating their client‘s case in court.

            You don’t want to get me started on the Nigerian mediocre legal profession — which is far from what it used to be. SAN my (dot dot dot).

          • Passionate about Nigeria

            Such ignorance. Perhaps with your best-fee- paying education you could re-read the post and assimilate what is being said. The old guard of the Nigerian legal profession were not mediocre. I am talking about the contemporaries of Uwais, Elias, Mohammed, Udoma, Olaniwun Ajayi. I’m sure someone with your “superior” exposure should have access to this class of Nigerians. But as they say abini bi pass ability…lol…best-fee paying and you are talking like this!!! Hehehe!!

          • Timothy

            Please read the article you referred me to again:

            Mr. Salami, a former President of the Appeal Court, was suspended following his alleged disclosure to the media of an attempt by the then Chief Justice of Nigeria, Aloysius Katsina-Alu, to influence the decision of the Appeal Court, in a Sokoto governorship election matter pending before the court at the time.
            Based on the recommendations of a Justice Ibrahim Auta-led panel which investigated petitions against Messrs. Salami and Katsina-Alu respectively, the former was found guilty. Mr. Salami was accused of lying on oath against the then CJN and asked to apologise to Mr. Katsina-Alu within seven days. The panel’s recommendation was received by the NJC on August 9, 2011.
            Mr. Salami approached the Federal High Court to challenge the recommendations of the panel.
            While that matter was pending in court, the NJC held an emergency meeting on August 18, with most of its principal members absent and suspended Mr. Salami. He was immediately replaced with an acting appeal court president, Dalhatu Adamu.
            Despite the apparent sub-judice in the suspension of Mr. Salami and the failure of the NJC to follow the right channel, by recommending the said suspension first to the President, Goodluck Jonathan, Mr. Jonathan directed Mr. Salami to vacate his position.

          • thusspokez

            There is more to the dodgy justice that you seem to know. This was the reaction of the Society for the Rule of Law in Nigeria (SRLN) following his dismissal:

            The retirement of the suspended President of the Court of Appeal Justice Ayo Isa Salami saying; “it marks the end of a beleaguered era of a tainted judge whose allegations of conviviality with the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN leadership will continue to haunt him even in retirement.”

          • Timothy

            Clearly you seem to believe it as it is written….just as it soothes you…but have you really been fair….I mean do you take up everything you read hook-line-and-sinker? Do you have room for what if….? Or you simply rely on the sincerity of all journalist to make your day? Now in the article I pasted to you there was a contoversy over his removal which did not follow due process…a panel sat and they concluded…they asked him to apologise to the CJN and the man went to court…even before he could get judgement the president was asked to remove him and he was removed….you did not see any wrong in that? His crime simply was wrong accusations…was that enough? I pray you dont fall victim of someone telling stories about you and conclude before they hear from you.

          • thusspokez

            Pay attention before the discussion ends up on another planet. Let’s once more remind ourselves of the headline, namely, “…Justice Salami rejects appointment to monitor corruption cases”, there!

            Now the question which I try to answer is “why had he chosen to reject the appointment?” And my answer was that, it was in part, due to media pressure. e.g., investigation carried out and published in September 2017 by this website. There has also been pressure from SERAP.

            Your argument seems to be going in a different direction; indeed revisiting the past to argue whether he was guilty of what he was accused. None of which is germane to the present discussion.

            Indeed with relevance is it to the current debate whether Justice Salami had been sacked fairly or unfairly. Pay attention please!

          • Timothy

            This was your response to my earlier post
            “I can’t say that I am good at spotting the ethnicity of Nigerians by their names, but I am wondering if your sympathy is tribal. You would have to be on another planet not to have seen news reports of Salami’ dodgy past. In which case, I would suggest that you google:

            “Controversially removed under Jonathan, Justice Salami”

            Where you mentioned his dodgy past….I only gave reasons not linking his past…but you referred to his past…you apparently did think it could be because of health, age or indisposed of…you went for his past…now am saying you are wrong to judge his current antecedence based on a controversial removal from office… I gave you an example…Sanusi…you went on about his past and the reason why the current CJN chose him and not someone else…I said could it be he beleived the man was wrongly removed…you said it may be because they are in a cult….If we want to stick to the story…the man has his reasons…we can speculate all we can…its fun to debate what the reasons are but it actually change what is…but you made a point where he has to clear his name…this may be an opportunity to do that…but what the heck….its his life.

            Dont judge him from what you hear from the media…it may not be true.

      • Mufu Ola

        Did u follow d circumstance of his removal by Jonathan? I’m disappointed you base your judgement of Jonathan’s notorious misuse of discretion handed him by NJC who even recommended his recalled but Jona,the dirt refused.Any objective observer including honest PDP members knew Salami was victimized for d judgements against PDP. Ask clean lawyers across Nigeria,Salami was reputed to be one of the top 4 incorruptible judges. But of course thieves, loafers & d dishonest will never agree.

  • Sword of Damocles

    Mr Bassey the CJN’s spokesperson stated: “His Lordship the Hon Chief Justice of Nigeria awaits Hon Salami’s letter of resignation.”
    Someone please explain to me how one can resign from something they never accepted. Me thinks the spokesperson needs to substitute “declination” for “resignation”. Mediocrity permeates the essence of all things Nigeria, yet our scholars abroad routinely top their class. Ironic isn’t it that the ones who rule & administer our country are the thuggish, brutish, and scum of the earth. Take this to the bank, Nigeria’s situation stays the same for eternity until this narrative is reversed. In normal circumstances the “cream always rises to the top” not in our dystopian “Hobbesland” IT DOESNT. I know I am ranting on something that is not a big deal, but this is EMBLEMATIC of everything we put our hands on, and we wonder why our country is a joke. “You get what you put in” (an American saying). you put in “yaga yaga”, then by God , you will have Tada!…. a “yaga yaga” country. any question??

  • thusspokez

    Some readers may have forgotten the following PT news report:

    “Controversially removed under Jonathan, Justice Salami returns to monitor corruption trials”

    September 28, 2017 Evelyn Okakwu

    No doubt, crooked justice Salami’s had chickened out due to pressure following the aforementioned news report. Good job again PremiumTimes for highlighting Justice Salami criminal past.


      Are you serious?. You Ibos are completely USELESS

      • okenwa

        May thunder fire your entire family for roping igbos into this news.

  • Gary

    Only in Naija. In saner climes, the process is that a nominee is privately offered a position for him to accept or decline before any formal announcement is made. To avoid this kind of embarrassment.

  • Man_Enough

    Nobody is indispensable. Why are we avoiding Falana?

    • aisha ani

      I don’t know Oooo!

  • Liberty

    D oldman should thank Allaah for the wisdom and courage he must have mustered in declining to accept this banana peel of an appointment.
    Whatever are the guts that Hon Justice Salami is to thought to be endowed with, as to have qualify him for the appointment a thousand nd one other Nigerians, more energetic and possibly even better acquainted with the methodologies of the corrupt-crazy benchers and members of the bar alike, abounds stteaming and roaring for opportunity to contribute to struggles for national rebirth.

  • Musa M. Dantsoho

    “Besides what we see in the media, we cannot exactly say what Justice Salami’s reasons are for declining to undertake this all-important national assignment that he was called upon to perform,”

    “His Lordship the Hon Chief Justice of Nigeria awaits Hon Salami’s letter of resignation……..”
    One hopes the two statements make sense.