Former President of Court of Appeal and Chairman Corruption and Financial Crime Cases Trial Monitoring Committee rejected the appointment of CJN, Justice Walter Onoghen as the Chairman of the newly created National Judicial Council based on principle.
His rejection was based on his conviction that the Committee might not bring out desired results expected of it with the composition of members with conflict of interests.
The appointment was based on the decision of the NJC at its 82nd meeting in Abuja.
Justice Salami is said to be uncomfortable with the composition of the 15-man committee.
The panel is said to include some members who had been implicated in some conflicting challenges between the bench and the bar.
Justice Salami was abroad at the time of his appointment later visited the Chief Justice on his arrival to reject his appointment based on principle and his consultations with leaders of the bench and his family.
The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) on October 3 wrote the CJN seeking the removal of members of the bar from the panel.
In the letter signed by SERAP Executive Director, Adetokunbo Mumuni, rejected the composition of the committee based on their conflict of interest.
The letter said: â€œSERAP urges your Lordship to urgently revisit, review, and reconsider the membership of the Salami committee to ensure that members currently handling high-profile corruption cases involving PEPs are removed.â€
Other members of the committee are: the Chief Judge, Borno State, Justice Kashim Zannah; the 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); 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 the Secretary of the NJC, Mr. Gambo Saleh.
The Committeeâ€™s primary functions are:
â€¢ regular monitoring and evaluation of proceedings at designated courts for financial and economic crimes nationwide;
â€¢ advising the Chief Justice of Nigeria on how to eliminate delay in the trial of alleged corruption cases;
â€¢ giving feedback to the Council on progress of cases in the designated courts, conduct background checks on judges selected for the designated courts; and
â€¢ evaluating the performance of the designated courts.
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