By Soni Daniel, Regional Editor, North
ABUJA — After almost two years of intrigues against his recall, former President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Ayo Salami, has resigned.
Vanguard learnt from competent judicial sources that the respected judge had finally opted to retire from service rather than continue to wait for reinstatement as was recommended by the National Judicial Council, NJC, which had earlier approved his suspension.
The source confirmed that Salami had already tendered his pre-retirement letter to NJC and that the council had accepted it.
According to the source, Salami, who is expected to formally retire from service on October 15, was to proceed on his pre-retirement leave this month.
The source, yesterday, said: “It is true that we have received Salami’s pre-retirement letter and notice in accordance with the rules of National Judicial Service of Nigeria.
“The development has put to an end any possibility of recalling him.”
The retirement notice filed by Salami is expected to pave the way for the emergence of either Justice Dalhatu Adamu or Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa as the substantive FCA judge in the next three months.
Bulkachuwa has, however, been acting in that capacity since November 22, 2012.
A reliable source said, yesterday, that the authorities were more disposed to recommending the female judge to succeed Salami because of her impeccable record of service so far.
It will be recalled that NJC had, in August 2011, suspended Justice Ayo Salami for refusing to apologise to the council and the former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Aloysius Katsina-Alu, after a panel of the council found him to have lied against CJN.
Beyond the suspension, the council recommended to the President to retire him from the Bench, an action that forced Salami to challenge NJC’s action in court.
However, in May 2012, NJC rescinded its decision and recommended the reinstatement of Salami, but Federal Government citing several court actions over the matter, distanced itself from the recommendation of the council.
Although the Attorney-General of the Federation admitted receiving the letter, he however, insisted that President Jonathan would not abide by it until the cases were disposed of by the courts.
Adoke, who described reports of the President’s reluctance to reinstate Mr. Salami as a misconception, stated that no responsible government would proceed to recall the judge when a case against his reinstatement was pending in court.