30th May, 2012
Efforts to reinstate suspended President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Ayo Isa Salami was boosted on Wednesday following the dismissal of one of the numerous suits filled by forces working against the return of the jurist to his duty post by a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja.
Justice Abdu-Kafarati dismissed a suit filed by Noah Ajare who sought an order of the court to stop Jonathan from acting on the recommendations of the National Judicial Council recalling Salami.
The plaintiff, Mr. Noah Ajare, who is a lawyer, sued the National Judicial Council, NJC, and the Judicial Reform Committee.
In the suit, he sought a declaration that all the meetings, discussions and recommendations for the reinstatement of Salami by the NJC must be put on hold as it was illegal, unconstitutional, null and void.
He also said the suit Salami filed challenging his suspension was still pending in court and that taking any step to reinstate him would further undermine the rule of law.
But his arguments however failed to achieve his desired result as the court held that the he lacked the locus standi to institute the action and that the issues involving the suspension and reinstatement of Salami could be resolved without his presence.
The court further held that the Judicial Reform Committee was not a creation of the law, as such it could not be sued.
Justice Kafarati also stated that being a member of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, did not confer locus standi on Ajare.
The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister for Justice, Mohammed Bello Adoke, SAN, had said that President Jonathan could not consider NJC’s recommendation asking him to recall Salami because of pending cases.
There are however similar cases seeking for the non reinstatement of Justice Salami which are still pending before the Federal High High Court in Abuja.
Mr. Ajare had wanted the court to declare that all the meetings, discussions and recommendations for the reinstatement of Salami by the President on the recommendations of the NJC must be put on hold as it is illegal, unconstitutional, null and void, as the matter was sub judice.
He claimed not to be against the reinstatement of Salami but only wanted due process to be followed in the matter which he said had assumed a national character with global attention deserving to be handled with caution.
By Nnamdi Felix / Abuja