NJC replaces Salami with Justice Galadima on corruption cases committee
The National Judicial Council, (NJC) has picked a retired Justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Suleiman Galadima as the new chairman of its Corruption and Financial Crime Cases Trial Monitoring Committee,(COTRIMCO).
Justice Galadima is to replace former President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Ayo Salami who turned down his earlier appointment to head the committee.
Salami was out of the country at the time his name was announced by the NJC. He based his rejection of the appointment on ill-treatment allegedly meted on him in the past by the judiciary.
The former Appeal Court President said he was abandoned by his colleagues when he needed them most.
It will be recalled that Salami was on August 18, 2011, removed from office as the PCA by the NJC, following his refusal to apologise to both the Council and the then CJN, Justice Aloysius Katsina-Alu who he accused of attempting to pervert justice in a governorship case involving Sokoto state.
The council, at its seventh emergency meeting, ordered Salami to vacate his office and hand over the leadership of the Court of Appeal to the most senior Justice of the court.
The NJC later lifted the suspension but Salami was not recalled to the bench by President Goodluck Jonathan until he clocked the mandatory retirement age.
His appointment as head of COTRIMCO was the first judicial engagement he has gotten since he was “pushed” out of the bench.
In a statement issued Tuesday, the NJC said it has picked Justice Galadima to replace Justice Salami who excused himself from the committee as the chairman, after initially accepting to serve.
The statement also added that the committee would be inaugurated on Wednesday by the CJN.
The committee was set up by the NJC to monitor and ensure speedy trial of corruption cases pending at the various Courts across the country.
Heads of Court Divisions were also directed by the NJC to set up Special Courts to speedily hear and determine corruption and financial crime cases and forward the comprehensive list to the Council.
The Council approved the constitution of the Committee at its 82ndMeeting of 27thSeptember, 2017 with the following Terms of Reference:- “To monitor and regularly evaluate the progress and activities of courts designated to try corruption and financial/economic crime cases; “Advise on Practice Directions for approval by the Chief Justice of Nigeria to be applicable in all such courts across the country with a view to eliminating procedural and administrative bottlenecks militating against speedy disposal of such cases; “Advise on the trainings, re-trainings and other refresher programmes for Judges and staff of the designated courts aimed at enhancing their capacities to function effectively; “Come up with an effective feedback mechanism from Heads of Courts to the Council on the activities and progress of cases before designated courts; “Generally advise Council on the day-to-day strategies for the monitoring and evaluation of the performance of the designated courts and on strategies for improvement in performance.
Other members of the committee are Chief Judge of Borno State, Justice Kashim Zannah, Chief Judge of Imo State, Justice P.O. Nnadi, Chief Judge Delta State, Justice Marsahal Umukoro, Chief Judge of Oyo State, Justice M. L. Abimbola. Others are the President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Mr. A.B Mahmoud, SAN, former NBA Presidents, Chief Wole Olanipekun, SAN, Mr. Olisa Agbakoba, SAN, Mr. J.B Daudu SAN and Mr. Augustine Alegeh SAN. As well as Dr. Garba Tetengi, SAN, Mrs. R.I Inga, Representative of Non-Governmental Organisations, Representative from the Ministry of Justice, Representative from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, (ICAN), as well as Secretary of the NJC, Mr. Gambo Saleh.