The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has advised President Goodluck Jonathan to approve the reinstatement of suspended Court of Appeal President Justice Isa Ayo Salami.
In a statement last night, NBA President Joseph Daudu (SAN) condemned the refusal of the President to approve the reinstatement of Salami.
The statement reads : ''The Nigerian Bar Association at its National Executive Meeting held at Lokoja, Kogi State on Thursday the 24th of May 2012 considered many pressing issues confronting the Bar and Nigeria as a nation including but not limited to the refusal by President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to recall the Hon. Justice I. A. Salami from suspension pursuant to the recommendation by the National Judicial Council to so do, (ii) the persistence by State Governors in refusing to comply with or obey the provision of Section 121-(3) of the 1999 Constitution which provides for financial autonomy and independence for the State Judiciary as an arm of Government and (iii) other matters that arose on the state of the nation: NBA/NEC hereby resolved as shown hereunder:
''NEC considered the recent National Judicial Council recommendation to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to recall the Hon. Justice Isa Ayo Salami back to the office of the President of the Court of Appeal of Nigeria and condemned the refusal of the President FRN so to do on the pretext of pendency of litigation in court.
'' NBA/NEC considered the decision was made in bad faith as there was pending litigation when the original decision to suspend him was taken. NBA/NEC reiterates its decision reached at the 2011 Annual Conference of the NBA at Port Harcourt calling for the reinstatement of the PCA on the ground that the suspension was done whilst there was litigation on the correctness or otherwise of the disciplinary action of the National Judicial Council. NBA/NEC viewed the decision as capable of eroding the confidence reposed in the judiciary by Nigerians.
''NEC took another look at the disturbing image problem of the Judiciary in particular and the Justice sector in general with the resultant effect of public odium and ridicule and advised all stakeholders particularly serving Attorneys- General of the Federation who arrogate to themselves the right of interpreting judicial decisions and legislation in such manner that strictly suits the Government of the day regardless of their oath of office, the truth and the lofty standards expected of occupants of such high office, and further advised such functionaries to desist from doing so in view of the incalculable damage such unprofessional conduct is occasioning on the system.