Justice Ayo Salami, the out-going President of the Court of Appeal, said on Thursday that he was sold out by his “brother” justices to face a three-year travail.
Speaking in Abuja during a valedictory session held by the Court of Appeal to mark his retirement from service, Justice Salami said that he can only liken his travail to the biblical story about Joseph, who was sold into slavery by his brothers.
“I fault the role of the National Judicial Council (NJC) in the events leading to my suspension as President of the Appeal Court. The NJC failed in its duty and the Executive Arm capitalised on that to keep me out of my position until I turned 70 years on Oct. 25,’’ he said.
Salami further said that the last three years of his career were dogged by travails, which are not dissimilar to the fate of Joseph in the book of Genesis in the Bible.
“For instance, the NJC, having cleared me of any wrongdoing, following the recommendations of Justice Aloma Mukhtar’s committee, ought to have recalled me back to office. In truth, as a matter of courtesy, all it needed to do was to write the Office of the President to inform Mr. President about it,” he said.
The former President of the Court of Appeal was suspended from office in 2010 on allegation of professional misconduct.
Earlier, Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa, the Acting President of the Court of Appeal, said that Salami’s contributions to the judiciary would always remain indelible.
She described Salami as a renowned jurist, adding that “he has shown this in his judgments.
“He has greatly contributed to the growth and development of law and jurisprudence in this country,” Bulkachuwa said.
In his remark, Okey Wali (SAN), the President of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), described Salami as a courageous, thorough and methodical judicial officer.
Wali, who was represented by Sunday Ameh (SAN), urged the Bar and Bench to reject attempts by external forces to interfere with the independence of the judiciary.