Compiled By Dayo Benson & Onozure Dania
As the Year 2012 folds up in four days,the Nations judicial sector no doubt witnessed epocal events that shape the polity. In our usual tradition we recall some of this landmark events as the signpost the character of our judicial system.
January 4, 2012
Petitioners In Dilemma As Court Of Appeal President, Justice Adamu, Frustrates Cases
Barely five days before all the 2011 election cases pending at the Court of Appeal in Benin City, elapse, petitioners, their political parties and supporters who besieged the court this morning have accused the President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Dalhatu Adamu and the judges of deliberately frustrating the cases so as to guarantee injustice where justice was sought.
The appeal cases were filed by candidates of State Assemblies and the National Assembly after the lower tribunal had struck them out. Under the provisions of the Electoral Law, they will elapse on January 9, as the law allows only 180 days for them to be completed.
Rivers Judiciary Begins New Legal Year
January 25, 2012
The 2011/2012 Legal Year of the Rivers State Judiciary commenced. The new legal year started with a rededication Church Service and a Special Court Session on Friday, 20th January, 2012. The programme was re-scheduled for one week due to the recent nation wide strike embarked upon by the organised labour unions in protest over the removal of fuel subsidy by the Federal Government.
February 29,2012 National Judicial Council approves Justice Salami’s reinstatement
The National Judicial Council (NJC) rose from a meeting Wednesday reversing itself and approving the reinstatement of the suspended President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Ayo Salami, in a decision that promises to bring to an end several months of bickering within the nation’s judiciary.
A source at the meeting said members reviewed the recommendations of the 29-member stakeholders Judicial Reform Committee, headed by a former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Muhammadu Uwais, constituted by Chief Justice of Nigeria, Dahiru Musdapher, shortly after he took office.
The Committee had absolved Justice Salami, who was suspended last August 18 by the same NJC, of any wrongdoing and recommended that he should be reinstated.
May 11, 2012
NJC reinstates Salami as President Court of Appeal
After considering the report of an adhoc committee set up to resolve the crisis within the judiciary, the National Judicial Council resolved to reinstate the President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Ayo Salami, who was suspended by the council on August 18, 2011.
The NJC rose from a two-day meeting on Thursday with a resolution to reinstate the embattled president of the Court of Appeal, after a nine-month impasse.
Although there was no official statement from the NJC, a source privy to what transpired at the meeting informed our correspondent that the council had forwarded a recommendation for Salami’s reinstatement to President Goodluck Jonathan.
July 4, 2012
Jonathan appoints first female Chief Justice of the Federation
The President, Goodluck Jonathan, has sent Mariam Aloma Mukhtar’s name to the Senate for confirmation as the next Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN). The President also sent the names of Justices Kumai Akaah and Atanley Allagoa to the Senate for confirmation as justices of the apex court is however, not new to pioneering as she was the first woman to be appointed Mrs. Mukhtar who is considered by many lawyers as a person of strong will and character, will become the first female head of the Nigerian judiciary.
Okeywali SAN succeeds JB Daudu as NBA president
The 2- year tenure of mr Joseph Bodurin Daudu SAN as president of Nigeria Bar of Association NBA ended and he was succeeded by Mr Okey Walli SAN who emerged after the associations delegate conference in Abuja MR Walli after the swearing in promised that it would not be business as usual in the affairs of NBA.
October 3, 2012 NJC drags FG to court; says Jonathan lacks powers to stop Salami’s recall
ABUJA – The National Judicial Council, NJC, yesterday, maintained that President Goodluck Jonathan lacked the constitutional powers to stop it from reinstating the suspended President of the Court of Appeal, PCA, Justice Isa Ayo Salami. The legal body made the declaration on a day it urged the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court to declare the re-appointment of the Acting PCA, Justice Dalhatu Adamu, by President Jonathan as unconstitutional and illegal.
October 4, 2012
Why I’m against Salami’s reinstatement – AG PCA
ACTING president of the Court of Appeal, Justice Dalhatu Adamu, has given reasons for his opposition to the suit seeking recall of the Justice Isa Ayo Salami from suspension.
A group, the Registered Trustees of Centre for the Promotion of Arbitration, has tabled a suit before Justice Adamu Bello of the Federal High Court, seeking the termination of Adamu’s tenure as acting president, which had spanned 14 months.
The plaintiff also wanted the court to stop President Goodluck Jonathan from further extending Adamu’s acting tenure, which had been done four times.
The constitution prescribes a three-month acting period, only renewable by the president on the recommendation of the National Judicial Council (NJC), while the NJC as a respondent in the suit had concurred with the plaintiff that Adamu’s tenure would be deemed illegal without its recommendation, though the council had not denied recommending him to Jonathan during the past renewals.
State OF ORIGIN: Female judge denied Appeal Court seat
The Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Justice Maryam Aloma Mukhtar, yesterday, declined to administer oath of office on one of the newly appointed justices of the Appeal Court.
The decision of the CJN was sequel to a petition challenging the state of origin declared by the judge, who was nominated under a slot reserved for Abia State.
Consequently, only 11 Justices were sworn-in yesterday, including Justice Emmanuel Akomaye Agim who has been the Chief Justice of Gambia since 2009.
November 23, 2012
Chief Justice Of Nigeria Swears In Justice Ifeoma Jombo-Ofor As A Judge Of The Appeal Court
The Chief Justice of Nigeria Justice Mariam Aloma Muhktar, today backed down from her earlier position to exclude Justice Ifeoma Jombo-Ofor from the bench of the Nigerian Court of Appeal.
Justice Ifeoma Jombo-Ofor was sworn in Abuja alongside Justice Zainab Adamu Bulkachukwa, who now serve as the president of the court of Appeal for the next three months. The searing of Justice Bulkachukwa, further complicated the planned the recall of the former president of the court, Justice Ayo Salami.
The CJN reportedly met Justice Salami a few weeks ago to discuss his recall on the condition that he turns in his resignation letter post dated to January 2013, but the Justice Salami rejected the offer.
Today’s swearing in of Justice Bulkachukwa is another peculiarity in Nigeria’s troubled history of judicial perfid.
November 23, 2012
Jonathan appoints another acting Appeal Court President
President Goodluck Jonathan on Thursday approved the appointment of another Acting President of the Court of Appeal as Justice Ayo Salami remained suspended.
A statement by the Deputy Director, Information, National Judicial Council, Mr. Soji Oye, said Jonathan approved Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa as acting PCA, following the expiration of Justice Dalhatu Adamu’s term in the office on Friday (today).
American company accuses Nigerian Judiciary of Corruption in US Court
December 2, 2012
An American Company told a court in the US that the Nigerian judicial system “does not provide impartial Tribunals or procedures compatible with the requirements of due process of law”
A U.S. based Multinational Corporation with a strong presence in Nigeria and enjoying the patronage of the federal government in the oil and gas sector has accused the Nigerian judiciary of understaffing, inefficiency, and corruption.