UN Petitioned Over Alleged Harassment Of Justice Salami

By Adetokunbo Mumuni

A civil society group, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has petitioned Ms. Gabriela KNAUL, the UN Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers over alleged “attacks by the Nigerian government on the independence and impartiality of judges, and the consequent denial of the internationally recognized right of the citizens to an effective remedy.”

In a petition dated 8 February 2011 and signed by SERAP Executive Director Adetokunbo Mumuni, the group said that, “We note that Justice Salami has been an activist judge who has consistently stood for justice and fair play in his position as President of the Court of Appeal. It would seem that the law is being used in this case as an instrument of political manipulation to perpetuate injustice against Justice Salami apparently for future political and election gains of the Nigerian government.”

According to the group, “We are seriously concerned that the purported ‘promotion’ may be a ploy to remove Justice Salami from the Court of Appeal without due process and any justifications whatsoever, so as to pave the way for a pro-government judge to be appointed to the Court of Appeal. The Court of Appeal performs important functions in the adjudication of election disputes. The recommendation to ‘promote’ Justice Salami therefore raises questions especially given that it is coming just weeks before a general election.”

“We are concerned that the recommendation of Justice Salami for ‘promotion’ undermines the fundamental principles of separation of powers and supremacy of the rule of law, both of which are pre-requisites for an administration of justice which ensures independence, impartiality, integrity, equality, transparency, and the protection of human rights,“ the group added.

The group also said that, “The purported recommendation is entirely inconsistent with the UN Convention against Corruption, and the Basic Principles on the Independence of the Judiciary, which require states to ensure impartiality and transparency in judicial decisions, which should always be based on facts, and be made in accordance with the law, without undue influences, inducements, pressures, threats or interferences, whether direct or indirect.   According to the Basic Principles, “It is the duty of all governmental and other institutions to respect and observe the independence of the judiciary.”

“The recommendation to remove Justice Salami from the Court of Appeal is also discriminatory because it is not based on objective factor but rather as a punishment for his activism and his judicial opinions, which is implicitly prohibited under the Basic Principles. This process has seriously undermined the term of office of Justice Salami, his independence, security and conditions of service,” the group further said.

“We further state that judicial independence is necessary and indeed a sine qua non, not for the personal benefit of judges, but rather for the protection of those who appear before the courts, and those affected by their decisions. We also believe that the apparent removal of Justice Salami from his position as the President of the Court of Appeal undermines the rule of law, which is the establishment of individual freedoms and the protection against any manifestation of arbitrary power by the public authorities,” the group added. 

“The action by the Nigerian government is capable of undermining the government’s ability to secure a steady, upright, and impartial administration of the laws, a responsibility required by international and regional human rights treaties, the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights t which Nigeria is a state party,” the group also said.

The group therefore asked the Special Rapporteur to:

1.    Find the Nigerian government in violation of international human rights obligations and standards guaranteeing the independence and impartiality of the judiciary, and full and effective access of the citizens to court

2.    Request the Nigerian government to urgently rescind or reverse the purported ‘promotion’ of Justice Salami in the interest of justice, and allow him to continue to function as President of the Court of Appeal.

3.    Request the Nigerian government to ensure an effective system of administration of justice that ensures independence, impartiality, integrity, equality and transparency, is a pre-requisite for guaranteeing the enjoyment of human rights for all.

4.    Request to visit Nigeria to: (a) inquire into attacks upon the independence and impartiality of the judiciary, including judges, and denial of access to court as part of the right to an effective remedy raised in this Complaint (b) make proposal to the Nigerian government on means to protect and enhance the independence and impartiality of the judiciary

5.    Insist that the government of Nigeria keeps the Special Rapporteur informed of the actions the government is taking to address the matter, and to comply with its international human rights obligations

It would be recalled that at the Federal Judicial Service Commission on 1 and 2 February, 2011, the Chief Justice of Nigeria Honorable Justice Aloysius Katsina-Alu reportedly discussed the proposal to ‘strengthen’ the Supreme Court by moving the President of the Court of Appeal Honorable Justice Ayo Isa Salami, to the Supreme Court, allegedly to be replaced with a pro-government judge. The matter was not placed on the meeting agenda, and no paper was circulated on the matter. Justice Salami has since rejected the apparently ‘political and suspicious promotion.”

 

 

 

Comments
9 comment(s)
Post a comment

Complete Hogwash!

Complete hogwash and balderdash! 'DISCRIMINATE'? Or did you mean SELECTIVE or VICTIMISE. What has discrimination got to do with this issue? On what basis was he 'discriminated' against? Except you do not understand the meaning of the word to 'discriminate'.

And regarding 'harassment', who has harassed who concerning this matter? The CJN or the busybody Justice SALAMI, who without being informed officially about his 'promotion' acted based on HEARSAY, and did not stop at writing a letter to 'reject' an offer that is yet to be made to him, he also went to court to challenge such? How is he the VICTIM? HE WAS NEVER MADE ANY OFFER OF 'PROMOTION'. IF SO, IN WHAT FORM AND WHERE IS THE EVIDENCE?

If this is how it is done in Nigeria or how promotions are made, in that case, I would also go to court to stop the RUMOUR that I HEARD that I would soon be 'promoted' a Justice of the SUPREME COURT, after first writing a 'rejection' letter.

And what has the GOVERNMENT of Nigeria got to do with the matter or issue? Decisions around appointing JUDGES AND JUSTICES, as you well know the procedure, is not a matter for the EXECUTIVE OR the LEGISLATIVE arm of government, until it gets to them or until it is recommended to them by the JUDICIAL arm.

The whole issue was still at the conception and discussion stages, without any FIRM OR WRITTEN RECOMMENDATION to the effect to 'promote' the Justice. Yet there is so much NOISE and ANXIETY in the Land.

WHY IS SERAP NOT CONCERNED ABOUT THE CONFESSIONAL STATEMENT OF THE JUSTICE IN HIS PLEADINGS ALREADY IN COURT AND HIS ACCUSATION OF THE CJN? WHY ARE THEY NOT DENOUNCING JUSTICE SALAMI FOR HIS DISREPUTABLE CONDUCT AND DISGRACING THE LEGAL PROFESSION AND THE EXALTED OFFICES OF JUDGES AND JUSTICES? IF A LAWYER WERE TO MAKE THOSE ALLEGATIONS AGAINST JUSTICE SALAMI, WHETHER TRUE OR FALSE, SUCH A PERSON WOULD BE DISCIPLINED?

PLEASE STOP TRYING TO MAKE OUT JUSTICE SALAMI AS A HERO OR A SAINT. HE IS NOT! HE COVERED UP THE SOKOTO GOVERNORSHIP ELECTION MATTER UNTIL NOW!

As LAWYERS IT IS OUR DUTY TO ASSIST IN STRENGTHENING THE LAW AND POINT OUT THE LAW TO OTHERS, AND NOT FESTER OR PROMOTE RUMOUR OR JOIN OTHERS TO RIDICULE OUR NOBLE AND ESTEEMED PROFESSION. LAWYERS ALSO WORK WITH FACTS AND NOT ON SUPPOSITIONS, CONJECTURES AND INNUENDOS, WHICH ARE UNSUBSTANTIATED.

THE MATTER IS IN COURT, LET US AWAIT THE OUTCOME. WHAT IS THE NEED FOR INVITING THE UN TO WATCH OVER THE MATTER, AS IF THERE ARE NO SYSTEMS IN PLACE TO DEAL WITH THE MATTER. THIS CONDUCT OR ACTION OF YOURS IS A DISSERVICE, UNPATRIOTIC AND SELF-SERVING!

This is just the beginning. I

This is just the beginning. I said it before now that as far as OBJ is dinning and winning with GEJ, GEJ will not do anything good. this is the do or die politics of obj. The CJN must be asked to resign as he is a card carrying member of PDP otherwise why did he stop the delivering of sokoto appeal judgement when he knows it is outside his jurisdiction?

President jonathan wants to

President jonathan wants to win election at all cost,that is why he is silence on some of this sensitive matters. He gives free hands to some of his governors like AKPABIO to kill, maim and destroy innocent lives so that he will have a lee way in the fourth coming election.He is not bothered to investigate all the complaints and allegation leveled against AKPABIO and the judiciary.I know nigerians are not stupid they are watching him and when the chips are down they will decide with their ballot papers.

THIS EVIL PARTY PDP LED BY QUIETLY CORRUPT JONATHAN

PDP IS A LOOTERS PARTY, CREATED BY THE ENEMY OF DEMOCRACY JUST TO MILK NIGERIA DRY.
I REMEMBER JONATHAN SAID BEFORE THAT EVEN IF JESUS CHRIST CONDUCT ELECTION IN NIGERIA, PDP WILL WIN, NIGERIA WILL NOT MOVE FOWARD FOR AS LONG AS PDP IS IN POWER, THIS IS A PARTY THAT FROM THE PRESIDENT IN ASO-ROCK TO THE CLEANERS IN WADATA HOUSE(PDP HQ)THEY ARE ALL SUPER CORRUPT, THE ANSWER IS TO KICK PDP OUT AT ALL COST FOR NIGERIA TO MOVE FORWARD OR WE CAN JUST KEEP ON DREAMING, LETS TRY ANOTHER PARTY.

The Boko Haram fundamentalist

The Boko Haram fundamentalist sect has said it will stop killings in parts of Borno State if soldiers are withdrawn from the streets and the group’s mosque is returned to its members.

The sect’s leader, Abu Suleiman, who listed the conditions on the Hausa Service of the British Broadcasting Corporation monitored in Kaduna on Monday, said its members had serious religious attachment to their original mosque in the capital of Borno State, Maiduguri.

Suleiman spoke against the background of an earlier statement by another member of the group that the killings would stop if Governor Ali Modu Sheriff was removed from office. The sect has been blamed for the killing of over 1000 persons since July 2010.

But Suleiman said the sect would stop the killings if the authorities allow its members to return and continue with their religious activities at the mosque. The Boko Haram leader accused soldiers and other security agents operating in Maiduguri of bias and called for their immediate withdrawal.

Suleiman insisted that members of the sect would not perform their worship and other religious activities in mosques belonging to other Islamic groups because it was not proper. He said the group’s members believed that many other Islamic clerics were ‘not intellectually capable and knowledgeable enough’ in the Islamic religion to lead them.

“We want our mosque to be given back to us; we also want all the soldiers in Maiduguri to be withdrawn immediately,” he stated.

Meanwhile, the Borno State Police Command on Sunday set up road blocks on major roads in Maiduguri in its bid to check the increasing attacks by suspected Boko Haram militants.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that at each checkpoint, passengers were requested to disembark for a thorough search. NAN reports that the police also ordered motorcyclists to disembark and raise one of their hands, while pushing their bikes with the other hand.

Some residents, however, criticised the new approach, describing it as ‘inhuman.’ A member of the Borno branch of the Nigeria Bar Association Committee on Human Rights, Mallam Kaka Shehu, told NAN in Maiduguri that the method was oppressive.

He alleged that two NBA members were assaulted by security agents on Sunday for refusing to frog-jump at a checkpoint.

But the spokesman of the state police command, Malam Lawal Abdullahi, explained that the search was aimed at confiscating weapons in the hands of the militants and called for understanding from the people.

In a related development, the Nigerian Governors’ Forum has commiserated with the government and people of the state over the recent killings in Maiduguri.

The governors said in a letter delivered to Sheriff on Sunday by the NGF Chairman, Dr. Bukola Saraki, that they “condemn in absolute terms this mindless and unconscionable behaviour and call for heightened awareness and professionalism by our security agencies. There is no accommodation for this kind of recklessness.”

Salami PJCA

Salami PJCA nigerians are queing behind you, This is trying period.

abacha don beat buhari again ooh

The political atmosphere in Kano exploded with excitement yesterday, following the surprise inclusion of Alhaji Mohammadu Abacha, the son of Nigeria’s former Head of State, the late Sani Abacha, as one of the four gubernatorial candidates for the April polls in the state.

His name was unexpectedly published by the state headquarters of the Independent Electoral Commission of Nigeria (INEC), when they released their official list of candidates at about 4:30pm yesterday.
Others whose names were published by the electoral body are the former governor of the state, Dr. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso (PDP), the incumbent deputy governor of the state, Alhaji Abdullahi Tijjani Mohammadu Gwarzo (A C N) and the candidate of the ANPP, Alhaji Sagir Mahhamed Sagir.

Following the announcement, supporters of Abacha burst into wild celebration, seizing major roads in the state capital, chanting victory songs and distributing his posters to passersby.
The Director-General of the Mohammed Abacha Campaign Organisation, Alhaji Mohammadu Sulieman Manbo, expressed delight with the development and prayed that if elected as the governor of Kano State, they would work with all shades and groups in the state.

He tasked their party members, including those who lost to rally round their candidate for the election in the state, saying that the battle ahead was that of team spirit.
Abacha’s name had initially been withdrawn by his party, Congress for Progress Change (CPC), resulting in a law suit.
Manbo recalled the ugly incident leading to the withdrawal of the name of their principal, saying “The results of several local government councils were deliberately cancelled perhaps to deny him of his victory.”

“After so many days of waiting, after 19 days after the conduct of the elections, the winner was surreptitious declared through the back door and the name of General Lawal Jafaru Isa was taken to INEC for the reasons best known to those who did it,” he stated.
It could be recalled that Alhaji Mohammadu Sani Abacha had, on acount of this withdrawal, dragged his party, Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), General Mohammadu Buhari and INEC before a Federal High Court presided over by Justice Gabriel Kolawole.

In the said suit, he sought for an order, restraining CPC, from submitting any other name other than his to the INEC.
He argued that in the party’s primary, conducted on January 12, 2011, he scored the highest number of votes of 144,066.
INEC list in Kano
ANPP
Governor –Salihu Mohammed Sagir Deputy Governor – Bashir Shehu Galandanci
Senate
Kano North - Barau .I. Jibrin
Kano South- Senator Kabiru Gaya, Kano Central - Aminudeen Abba Ibrahim
PDP
Governor - Dr Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso Deputy Governor -Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje
Senate
Kano North – Senator Bello Hayatu Gwarzo
Kano South- Aliyu Sa ‘ idu, Kano Central -Bashir Garba Muhammed
CPC
Governor - Alhaji Mohammed Sani Abacha
Deputy Governor -Hussani Abdullahi Garba
Senate
Kano North- Major General Abduulmalik

Vote For Buhari To Quench PDP's Corruption

Salami should stick to his gun: Bubari would need suchlike to sanitise Nigeria from PDP and Jonathan’s ruin.

www.rig2011electionyoudie@rocketmail.com

 

No 18 Thousand Naira Minimum Wage, No Vote For Jonathan

No 18 thousand Naira minimum wages, no vote for Jonathan Goodluck. Jonathan should've used the expediency employed in stealing into Central Bank of Nigeria and sharing one billion dollar on New Years’ Eve in speeding up the minimum wage. Nigerian Labour Congress should start educating Nigerian workers on how to vote Jonathan out of Aso Rock because he hates the working class so much.

www.rig2o11electionyoudie@rocketmail.com