The Nigerian Bar Association has weighed in on the on-going controversy regarding the propose elevation of the President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Ayo Isa Salami. A statement issued by the president of the NBA, JB Daudu, urged both parties to maintain the status quo while an “in-house” resolution is brought to the controversy.
Full statement below:
STATEMENT BY THE NIGERIAN BAR ASSOCIATION ON THE PRESENT CRISIS GENERATED BY THE PROPOSED ELEVATION OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE COURT OF APPEAL TO THE SUPREME COURT BY THE CHIEF JUSTICE OF NIGERIA
The Nigerian Bar Association has watched with great concern the needless controversy generated by the proposed elevation of the President of the Court of Appeal to the Supreme Court of Nigeria.
The matter which ordinarily is a domestic affair of the judiciary is now firmly in the public domain. Unfortunately, it is the subject of discussion in market places and construction sites. We observe that opinions are sharply divided on the issue. While to some it is a simple matter of elevation from one court to the other to others it is an attempt to remove the incumbent from the office of the President of the Court of Appeal without any misconduct established against him in accordance with laid down procedure.
Without prejudice to the powers of the Federal Judicial Service Commission (FJSC) and the National Judicial Council (NJC) and in view of the unnecessary controversy generated by this matter the Nigerian Bar Association hereby calls upon the parties concerned i.e. the CJN and the PJCA to allow the status quo of this matter to prevail pending an amicable in-house resolution of this matter. Specifically we urge the Chief Justice of Nigeria to suspend the ongoing process of ‘elevation’ and for the president of the Court of Appeal to refrain from further comments on the matter until stakeholders in the legal profession intervene and resolve the matter.
Finally, we beseech the media to exercise some measure of restraint in the reportage of this matter as the Judiciary (a hallowed and indispensible organ of Government in Nigeria) continues to play the vital constitutional role accorded to it by Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended)
-Joseph Bodunrin Daudu SAN