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NJC are Not Read7 To Change Their Mind On Salami's Case
CONTRARY to expectations, the crisis in the Judiciary remained unresolved yesterday.
Court of Appeal President Isa Ayo Salami is yet to return to his job, almost one week after the National Judicial Commission (NJC) reinstated him. But NJC members plan to resist any plot to review Their decision to reinstate Justice Salami.
The NJC is yet to serve Justice Salami and the acting President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Dalhatu Adamu, the notice of its decision to reinstate Justice Salami.
A Presidency source said last night that President Goodluck Jonathan might bow to the rule of law instead of political sentiments in deciding the matter.
Another source spoke of how anti-Salami forces “have been going about seeking a court order to tie the Presidency’s hand” from restoring him.
Three options are being weighed on Justice Salami’s fate, it was learnt last night.
•upholding the NJC recommendation to end the crisis, in spite of the bitterness of some members of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP);
•using a matter filed in court on Tuesday by Noah Adejare as a subjudice alibi to delay Justice Salami’s reinstatement; and
•rejecting the recommendation of the NJC by the government and a demand for a review of the decision.
It was gathered that some anti-Salami forces prefer a review of the NJC’s decision to enable a fresh lobbying against the judge.
President Goodluck Jonathan can reject the NJC recommendation based on legal grounds, security reports, and alleged ambiguity in the recommendation because the Council had earlier recommended the retirement of Salami.
But The Nation learnt last night that influential NJC members plan to resist the review option.
Some NJC members, who spoke in confidence, confirmed that they will resist any plot to review Their recommendation.
One said: “The truth is that we will Not accept any excuse to review our position on the reinstatement of Justice Salami. We have had enough of this crisis; we want to move forward.
“I can tell you that if the government brings such a request, it will Not fly because it will amount to dragging the judiciary into the abyss.”
Another said: “The mood of the NJC members does Not favour any review of our decision. I think we are resolute this time around to assert the independence of the Judiciary.
“We also want to put the past behind us because the crisis is attracting international odium.”
Yet another source added: “Ordinarily, the President has Not much business with the reinstatement of Justice Salami since the NJC has spoken. The Council’s decision should have been sufficient for Salami to take over from the acting PCA.
“But the constitutional complications surrounding NJC abracadabra on Salami dragged Jonathan into the matter. The President got involved in the first instance when the NJC recommended to him to retire Justice Salami and appoint an acting PCA (Justice Dalhatu Adamu).
“Constitutionally, the President or the government is only expected to act on the recommendation of the NJC. The consultations going on are certainly unnecessary.
“We will also resist any attempt to politically hijack the NJC.”
As at press time last night, neither Justice Salami nor the acting PCA had been notified of the NJC’s resolution to reinstate Justice Salami.
A Court of Appeal source said: “The development has shown that there is much to this crisis. When Justice Salami was suspended, he was immediately served a letter and the acting PCA instantly got a letter from the NJC to assume duties.
“Almost a week after this decision was taken; neither of the parties has been told. I think some forces are looking for loopholes in NJC’s recommendation to hang Justice Salami.”
But a Presidency source indicated last night that President Jonathan might bow to the rule of law instead of political sentiments.
The source said: “The President is likely to allow the rule of law to have its way than political sentiments.
“Let me tell you, the President has no personal interest in this matter. When the crisis was heating up the polity, the President personally had one-on-one audience with Justice Salami and pleaded that the Judiciary should sort itself out.
“This meeting took place before Justice Salami was suspended by the NJC. I think he will do the right thing.”
Asked about the pressure from some members of the NWC of the PDP on the President against Justice Salami, the source added: “Some of these leaders do Not even have direct access to the President.
“They will be busy shouting on the fringe as if they dine with the President, but the Case is opposite. One of those shouting now once complained to some party leaders that he was no longer having access to the President.”
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