The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Bello Adoke (SAN), has said that the federal government places no immediate value on last week’s recommendation of the National Judicial Council (NJC) to recall the suspended President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Ayo Isa Salami.
He was speaking to reporters at a ministerial press briefing in Abuja yesterday. “No responsible government will act on it in the present circumstances of the case,” he said, drawing attention to litigations that have been served on the President on the issue. “As soon as the judiciary put their house in order the federal government will make its position on the matter known.”
The Minister noted the "misconception" that has trailed the NJC recommendation, recalling that it was in August 2011 that the NJC, in a letter to President Goodluck Jonathan, suspended Justice Salami and recommended his retirement.
He said that the Government immediately approved the suspension, while transmitting the matter of his retirement to the National Assembly, thereby putting it on hold. The government then appointed an Acting President of the Court of Appeal.
On the Petroleum subsidy probe, Mr. Adoke told the reporters that the federal government has forwarded the House of Representatives’ report to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to enable the commission “carry out its own investigations” and prosecute all those who are culpable, pledging that there will be no sacred cows.
The Minister observed that the same “misconception” that trailed Salami’s case was extended to Ibori’s conviction in London with the uninformed condemning the Nigerian judiciary.
“The fact that Ibori was convicted [in London] does not in any way discredit the Nigerian judiciary because they used plea bargaining in securing his conviction,” Adoke said. He argued that if the same plea bargain was applied in the Ibori case in Nigeria, Nigerians would have condemned it.
In response to a question as to why the government has not addressed the root cause of the Boko Haram crisis, the Minister disclosed that the government is fully implementing the white paper on the death of Yusuf, the late leader of the sect who was killed by the police in Maiduguri two years ago.