Justice Ayo Salami rejects appointment to monitor corruption cases

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A former President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Ayo Salami has reportedly rejected his appointment as the Chairman of the Corruption and Financial Crime Cases Trial Monitoring Committee, COTRIMCO, based on principle and conscience.

According to the Nation Newspaper, Salami is convinced that the committee may not work as “efficiently expected” because of the businesses of some members.

He was named the chair of COTRIMCO, which was set up by the National Judicial Council, NJC, on September 27 by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen.

His appointment was based on the decision of the NJC at its 82nd meeting in Abuja and the Justice 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.

Although, Salami was out of the country when he was appointed, he sought audience with the CJN upon his return.

A top official at the Supreme Court told the newspaper that after discussing his reservations with the CJN, he wrote to reject the appointment.

The source confirmed that Justice Salami had “thrown in the towel.”

Justice Salami is said to have consulted widely with leaders on the Bench and in the Bar before resolving with his family to reject the offer.

The source said, “I think Salami felt that a few members of the committee had been entrenched in the intrigues in the nation’s Judiciary.

“He believes that as the chairman of the committee, he will not have the authority to keep those members in check.

“So, instead of creating unnecessary problem for himself without any place to run to, he opted to stay away from the committee.

“In fact, while he was still being asked by colleagues to give the appointment a chance, there was controversy over the reinstatement of a former chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Pension Reforms Task Team, Mr. Abdulrasheed Abdullahi Maina. Salami just said he won’t accept this offer.

“He, however, took time to meet with the CJN personally to thank him for the honour and why he cannot accept the job. He made it known that he had no grudges against the CJN.”

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