23rd May, 2012
The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has said the statement by the Attorney-General of the Federation Mohammed Adoke, that Justice Ayo Salami’s reinstatement as recommended by the National Judicial Council (NJC) will be ‘subjudice’, is the clearest indication yet that the Jonathan Administration lacks honourable character.
In a statement issued in Lagos on Wednesday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said the statement has also confirmed the widely-held belief that the Presidency orchestrated Salami’s suspension in the first instance, as part of a wider plan to cow the judiciary and silence upright judges.
‘’In the end, this is all about the PDP losing Ekiti and Osun states, which the party appropriated to itself through a most shameful and egregious electoral heist, rather than the consequences of the disagreement between the nation’s two top judicial officers over the Sokoto election.
‘’AGF Adoke’s shocking and disingenuous statement has also exposed the reason behind the temerity of Segun Oni and Olagunsoye Oyinlola to continue to assault the judiciary and anyone who had anything to do with the cases in Ekiti and Osun states. After all, they know they have the backing of the Attorney-General and the presidency,’’ it said.
ACN said the Jonathan Administration’s moral deficiency has been exposed by the fact that a President who gleefully and speedily approve the suspension of Justice Salami as President of the Court of Appeal is now stonewalling and pussyfooting when called upon to reverse that decision by the same body that recommended the suspension.
‘’In our earlier statement, we said we are willing to give the President the benefit of the doubt over speculations that the presidency is the one orchestrating the litigation against the reversal of Salami’s suspension. However, it is now clear that the morally-challenged Administration is actually the unseen hand behind such frivolous lawsuits, which have now been latched on to by the same presidency as the reason why Justice Salami cannot be reinstated.
‘’By his statement, the AGF has also confirmed that the Executive is the one fomenting the crisis in the Judiciary simply to serve political ends, a very dangerous game in an emerging democracy.
‘’As the AGF plays the Ostrich, he forgets that Nigerians cannot be hoodwinked by such untenable explanation of the reason for the presidency’s refusal to reinstate Justice Salami. He forgets that Justice Salami had already instituted a lawsuit against the NJC before he was suspended. He forgets that the NJC, which is a defendant in the case, knew what it was doing when it recommended the reinstatement. And he forgets that part of the overall resolution of the crisis is the request by the NJC that all cases pertaining to it should be withdrawn.
It expressed shock that the Administration could so easily miss a rare chance to show that it is a government with honourable character – perhaps the most important attribute of any government that is worth that name.
‘’In the end, the President has opted to sacrifice honour on the platform of political expediency; He has chosen to take what he considers the ‘safe’ way out on an issue that calls for courageous leadership; He has failed to rise to the occasion at a crucial moment. President Jonathan may yet rue the decision to ignore the recommendation of the NJC on the reinstatement of Justice Salami,’’ ACN said.