Justice Ayo Salami Rejects Appointment To Monitor Cases Of Corruption

The search for an head for National Judicial Council (NJC) committee to monitor graft cases continues as Justice Isa Ayo Salami has turned down the offer.

A former President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Salami rejected his appointment as the Chairman of the Corruption and Financial Crime Cases Trial Monitoring Committee (COTRIMCO) based on principle and conscience.

He is believed to have been convinced that the committee may not work as “efficiently expected” due to the "businesses" of some members.

Justice Salami was named the chairman of the committee, which was set up by the National Judicial Council (NJC) on September 27 by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen.

The appointment was based on the decision of the NJC at its 82nd meeting in Abuja.

According to The Nation, Justice Salami is said to be uncomfortable with the composition of the 15-man committee. The panel is said to include some who had been implicated in conflicting challenges between the bench and the bar.

Salami was out of Nigeria when he was appointed, he sought audience with the CJN upon his return.

It was learnt that after discussing his reservations with the CJN, he wrote to reject the appointment. 

A Supreme Court source confirmed that Justice Salami had “thrown in the towel”.

The source said: “I think Salami felt that a few members of the committee had been entrenched in the intrigues in the nation’s Judiciary. He believes that as the chairman of the committee, he will not have the authority to keep those members in check.

“So, instead of creating unnecessary problem for himself without any place to run to, he opted to stay away from the committee.

“In fact, while he was still being asked by colleagues to give the appointment a chance, there was controversy over the reinstatement of a former chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Pension Reforms Task Team, Mr. Abdulrasheed Abdullahi Maina. Salami just said he won’t accept this offer.

“He, however, took time to meet with the CJN personally to thank him for the honour and stated why he cannot accept the job. He made it known that he had no grudges against the CJN.”