By ABDULWAHAB ABDULAH, OLASUNKANMI AKONI, OAMEN AREGUAMEN, MONSUR OLOWOOPEJO & KEHINDE OLASANMI
IKEJA—The three branches of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, in Lagos State, yesterday, staged a peaceful protest over the removal of Justice Isa Ayo Salami as President, Court of Appeal. They urged President Goodluck Jonathan to reverse his decison on the suspension without delay.
However, Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, SAN, who received them in his office in Alausa, Ikeja, said Nigerians, especially lawyers should exercise restraint, as the matter would definitely be resolved through due process and the rule of law.
He cautioned that it would be prejudiced for them to make comments on the case since it was before a competent court of law that has the jurisdiction to deal with the matter, urging them to be optimistic and believe that justice will be done.
The lawyers from Lagos, Ikeja and Ikorodu branches of NBA, defied the early morning rain and trekked the long distance from the Lagos High Court, Ikeja, to the Governor’s Office in Alausa, where they presented a letter to Fashola for delivery to the President.
The letter, titled: “Threat to the Legal Order and Rule of Law,” reads, “It is our view that the NJC, in suspending Justice Salami, flagrantly flouted the well-established legal principle of parties not taking any steps during the pendency of a suit that would foist upon the court a situation of fait accompli or render nugatory the eventual judgment of the court.”
According to the lawyers, Salami’s suspension and appointment of an Acting President of the Court of Appeal by Jonathan while there is a pending case will set a dangerous precedent and a threat to legal order and the rule of law.