Showdown Looms As Justice Salami Writes To Reject “Promotion” To Supreme Court

By SaharaReporters, New York

The stage is set for a dramatic showdown between Justice Aloysius Katsina-Alu, Chief Justice of Nigeria, and Justice Ayo Isa Salami, president of the Court of Appeal, as the latter has written a letter rejecting the CJN’s plan to promote him to the Supreme Court.

SaharaReporters has detailed an insidious plot by Justice Katsina-Alu and elements within the Goodluck Jonathan administration to neutralize the principled and highly courageous Salami by moving him to the Supreme Court where he would be a junior, ineffective voice under the direct control of the CJN. Justice Salami, whose leadership of the Court of Appeal has been described by lawyers as “inspiring” and “exemplary,” has established a reputation for fearless judgments.

Several sources in the judicial sector have told SaharaReporters that the plot to “promote Justice Salami out of relevance” is driven by political considerations. Justice Salami is credited for being directly or indirectly responsible for judicial verdicts that overturned the fraudulent “elections” of former Governors Osunbor in Edo State, Segun Oni in Ekiti and Olagunsoye Oyinlola in Osun.

By contrast, Justice Katsina-Alu, who heads the apex court, is notorious for what one Abuja-based lawyer described as “cash-and-carry judgments and a shameless habit of prostituting himself with any government in power.”
Justice Salami’s letter, which is being circulated to members of the Federal Judicial Service Commission and the Nigerian Judicial Committee, unequivocally rejects the plan to accelerate his promotion to the Supreme Court.

A member of the NJC, who discussed the content of the letter, told SaharaReporters that Justice Salami argued that he was never consulted by the CJN on the ostensible promotion and that he never sought to be elevated. The letter also raised several constitutional and zoning issues that lay bare some questions about the real intention of the planned promotion. Our source noted that Justice Salami’s tone suggested that he was aware that Katsina-Alu’s program was to render the head of the Court of Appeal “irrelevant in the run-up to the 2011 elections afterwards.”

“Justice Salami is regarded as a non-nonsense judge, who will not tolerate election rigging,” said a member of the Nigerian Bar Association, adding that some lawyers have vowed to fight the CJN’s plan to emasculate the Court of Appeal by removing its effective head.

A source in the judiciary said that Justice Salami’s troubles with the CJN started as soon as Salami was confirmed as the President of the Court of Appeal. As Justice Salami made plans to constitute panels to consider lingering election fraud cases, the CJN came down hard on the appellate panel constituted to hear the gubernatorial case in Sokoto State. The panel was set to kick out the governor of the state on the account of the fraudulent process that brought him to power. But in a brazen manner described by a lawyer as “shameful and unprecedented in Nigeria’s legal history,” Justice Katsina-Alu used the Supreme Court to scuttle the delivery of the judgment in the Sokoto governorship case.

However, Justice Salami succeeded in reversing the electoral fortunes of PDP governors both in Ekiti and Osun states. For those daring acts, an irate CJN, who played a huge role in validating the electoral fraud that imposed former “President” Umaru Yar’Adua and “Vice President” Goodluck Jonathan in 2007, last week proposed at a meeting of the Federal Judicial Service Commission that Justice Salami be promoted to the apex court, even though there was no vacancy for Salami’s North Central zone. Justice Katsina-Alu exploited Justice Salami’s unavoidable absence from the meeting of the commission to push his nefarious agenda. Two members at the meeting told SaharaReporters that the CJN’s proposal came as a real shock to them. “It is curious that the CJN wants to promote someone without his consent or application to be promoted,” said one of the commission’s members.

But as soon as word spread about the sinister promotion plan, lawyers across the country said the issue would be thoroughly debated at the upcoming NBA conference in Awka, Anambra State. They contended that tampering with the Court of Appeal leadership at this critical time indicated that the CJN was working in tandem with the PDP government to strip the Nigerian judiciary of one of its dependably fearless justices prior to the election. They said they would vehemently oppose the move in Awka. However, SaharaReporters learnt that the president of the Nigerian Bar Association, Joseph Daudu, was sympathetic with the CJN’s conspiracy. Mr. Daudu was one of the federal prosecutors who prosecuted Ken Saro-Wiwa at the kangaroo tribunal set up by the Sani Abacha regime.

After SaharaReporters exposed the CJN’s sinister agenda, a rattled Justice Katsina-Alu summoned an emergency meeting of the NJC for next Wednesday to discuss and ratify the recommendation of the Judicial Service Commission on the matter. The CJN's intention, our sources say, was to complete the nomination process and forward the file to Mr. Jonathan for approval before the NBA weigh in on the issue in Awka.

As Katsina-Alu tries to move at lightning speed to “promote” Justice Salami to the Supreme Court, judicial observers note that it was curious that the slot reserved for the Southwest on the apex court has yet to the filled. Justice Katsina-Alu has weathered the zoning objections raised against the elevation of Justice Salami by stating that Mr. Jonathan would soon increase the number of Supreme Court justices to 21. “This whole idea of adding justices to the Supreme Court is driven by the idea to justify and accommodate the so-called ‘promotion’ of Justice Salami,” said a senior source in the judiciary.

A legal observer told SaharaReporters that the duel between Justice Salami and Katsina-Alu could prove dramatic “since Justice Salami knows a lot about some dirty happenings in judiciary, especially under the leadership of Justice Katsina-Alu.”

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why the noise?

i wonder why justice Salami is panicking. He has not been officially notified of promotion or transfer. How can a justice go to court on a mere hearsay?
There are procedures before his movement can be perfected.. What gossips told him is stage 1 of about five stages.If he wanted to confirm why go to press? Salami you are a disgrace to the bench for drangind the honotable profession in mud.You should have waited to be officially notified before you refuse the offer.
There is no evidence that your matter was discused save that you were informed. By who?
Is it true that Salami was at Ado ekiti to see Fayeimi,Is it treu that your trusted judges have been issued with query by jsc (not the cjn that you are fighting0 over osun tribunal.If these allegations are true you should ordinarily take the path of honor and step aside while investigation go on.
You should thank your stars that the Cjn is giving you a soft landing.
Again is it true that Asiwaju bola Tinubu the chairman managing Director sole proprietor of ACN limited lobbied for you to get the position of PCA. Affidavivit of Senator Danladi is still there and you have not denied it. This allegation is over 18 months old
s i

Salami desreves greater national honours!

Hon. Justice Isa Ayo Salami deserves national honours, greater ones, instead of the politically inspired promototion that has no precedence in our judicail history! Justice Katsina-Alu has a name. Salami has a name too. Salami's name should be protected by all well meaning Nigerians as it has not been soiled, as far a i know!

Promoting Salami to the

Promoting Salami to the supreme court will strip him of all the prestige and power as the President of the Court of Appeal. In fact his position is at par with that of Katsina Alu. How would you remove a man that controls the entire budget (in billions)of his court and over 30,000 staff and make him him a justice that controls no fund and less than 10 staff? And you say make the man no complain? Power,money, influence sweet o. I too go protest if na me. Salami swore to serve in any capacity, let him just move! Afterall, he has no trust in the court he is residing over, so why he wan die there?

What evidence are you looking for?

I must say that we have a very long way to go in Nigeria. While it is evident, very evident for all to see the intent and the import of the actions being attempted here, some people are still looking for proof and evidence. What proof and evidence are you looking for? For the CJN to come out and say that “yes I wanted to promote him to make him irrelevant”. Fine! Keep seeking the evidence, you will soon get it.
I have often said that I am and will always be an irredeemable optimist about the fact that one day Nigeria will harness the best of its potentials and start its journey to the Promised Land but I can assure you, that day or time has not come. Not with this present crop of leaders. Not with them. Call them whatever you feel like ACN, PDP, ANPP, GCON, PRP or whatever…….they are not the ones we have been waiting for. Not in these times that the best of our values and cultures are celebrated by other climes and the most of our resources are used to develop or better other economies. Be it in sports, finance, sciences, the arts, stolen money, looted funds etc, none resides in the area of Niger and if they do, they already have a base outside or are looking to get out.
Lastly, stop wasting your energy looking for evidence, you know what is right and wrong in this situation and you know very well that if the CJN did not attempt to promote the president who I know is doing a phenomenal job, it would not be in every newspaper in Nigeria. If you are looking for evidence, read the very next newspaper or go to any other website. I would err on the side of the SR’s, NVS and 234next of this world than the CJN. Our future is in our hands, let us do something

This Man Should be one of Our National Heroes!

If you come to this website and you genuinely believe in a better Nigeria, you must salute the courage of Justice Salami!

I must say again that in public service, Nigerian Moslems have continued to demonstrate far greater moral courage than my fellow Christians.

The truth is that we have not heard many Christian individuals in high positions able to do what Justice Salami has just done.
I say this purely because I am concerned about the role of Christian religious leaders in Nigerian development. For the avoidance of doubt, I am a Catholic forever, but I cannot deny the fact that Nigerian Moslem public office holders appear to have proven to be generally more Christ-like than their Christian counterpart.
In my calculations, the worst public office holders in Nigeria have been Christians. The worst president in Nigerian history - Christian Obasanjo; the worst elections in Nigeria's history - under Christian Obsanjo, The worst attorney general - Christian Aondoaka etc.
Lest we forget, the truest people's advocate - Gani was a Moslem.
Of course, I respect the many good Christian leaders we have had especially in people like Adekunle Fajuyi, General Emeka Ojukwu and many unknown stars out there, but we have not had many recently in the public sector. We have had people Church leaders supporting election rigging under Obasanjo.
I hope my comment would help in any way to get Christian leaders to engage in the healthy competition in moral courageousness in Nigeria’s public life.

Honorable Justice Katsina-Alu?

This development should be of serious concern to all decent Nigerians. However, what is of particular concern to me is how someone as incompetent and corrupt as Jst Katsina-Alu became the CJN. The previous CJNs, the Justices of the Supreme Court and the Bar can not claim to be oblivious of the his notorious corruption and administrative incompetence. How come he was still recommended to that Honorable position. He has set many horribly bad precedent since assuming office viz; 1.frustrating the delivery of the judgement of the Court of Appeal on the Sokoto gubernatorial election petition. 2. As chairman of the board of governor of NJI,he in collusion with the Administrator, Eri, wrongly sacked over thirty key staffers of NJI to pave way for the mindless looting of the Institute by awarding inflated contracts to a company in which Katsina-Alu's children are directors.
Now the latest move to transfer the upright and decent President of the Court of Appeal! Nigerians must wake up before we are turned into monkeys with tails! This wicked scheme must not stand.

@OC I reiterate...You are not


I reiterate...You are not a Nigerian. Your kind is too foolish to be. Most Nigerians are known to be smart, intelligent and resourceful. Your comments showed neither of these. You are too narrow minded and idiotic to understand the complexity, or should I say the simplicity of this development. All you see is an intended promotion of a Judge, the narrowness of your thinking prevents you from reasoning and seeing the interior motive behind the promotion, that is why you question the analysis of Stephen Danbaike or what you read in the article. Moreover, is the distinguished Judge's letter not enough for you to see light? Your blindness is beyond repair.

With people like Judge Salami still available in the system, I see hope for my Country when I wake up in the morning.



Stand up Nigerians for Justice!

Nigerians must stand on the side of Justice Salami to fight the agents of darkness because the last has not been heard of this issue. This is so because anytime there is any attempt to fight corruption, it fights back with even greater energy and vigor. I'm certain that the Mr. President, the PDP, and the CJN will definitely re-group to launch a full scale war on Justice Salami. If you doubt ask Nuhu Ribadu. It is becoming very clear that GEJ can not fight corruption because electoral and judicial corruption to me are worse crimes than economic and financial crimes.

That PDP virus of corruption!

It is painful that all these are happening under the watch of Mr. President. What hope do we then have for a free and fair polls come April 2011 or better still what hope for good governance till 2015 when undoubtedly GEJ is set to hold the reins of power? Sincerely, I'm beginning to believe that the PDP virus has bitten GEJ. This feeling started creeping into me after the Delta state guber re-run was rigged for the PDP in the brazen daylight by GEJ and JEGA's INEC without recourse to coscience. What is happening now is further eroding my faith in GEJ. Hmmm!!!!! Nigerians must watch the ruling cabal and the PDP closely in the forth coming general elections because the basket of tricks in the Nigerian political arena is always so full that it can never be emptied. This is act 1 scene 2. We are waiting for the next scene! All hail Naija!!!!!!!!!




for over a decade no one has been convicted for the killings in jos, corrupt govt officials are empowering themselves the more, so many pending cases in court - lawyers now encourage govt officals to steal money and later waste time in couts.....which way nigeria...WE NEED SERIOUS REFORMS NOW IN JUDICIARY...ALUTA

@Dele Giwa - You Stark Illiterate!

Some ILLITERATE, you are! First of all, I did not ask for 'evidences' but recommended that you (and the other JERRY SPRINGER type AUDIENCE) should always analyse issues and seek proof or evidence, first, including hear from the other side or the Horse's mouth, before you start to believe gossips, innuendos and conjectures, which are not founded or based on facts.

Your watch-phrase, my friend, should be 'there are always 2 sides to a COIN'! The difference between investigative journalism and hearsay journalists or gossip columns is that the former investigates and hears from ALL sides.

How DARE you also question my Nigerianess? I note, however, that you wrote this in past-tense when you said "I strongly 'believed' that you are not a Nigerian." At least, now you know better, and know that I am a Nigerian and a true 'son of the soil'. And maybe if I call you OLOSHI or Isi mbgaka, then you'll also know that I speak Yoruba and Igbo fluently. ILLITERATE!

I will advise you to go back to school and learn how to use your brain to analyse issues and stop wallowing in gossips, innuendos or allowing your imagination to run wild like a bad NOLLYWOOD FILM DIRECTOR. And maybe then would you also stop allowing any medium to dump garbage into that porous, empty and illiterate brain of yours.

And while you are at it, perhaps, you would also start making sense too. After that, can you begin to construct your sentences properly and make more sense. What do you mean by 'if there is no electrical power (sic), the political power...and economic power...'? Your rant is bereft of sound reasoning and good educational foundation.

Fortunately, I am in sympathy for you, but I put the entire blame on the faulty system that produced such ignoramus and illiterate mind as yours.





@Stephen Danbaike - What is your Rant about?

Are you alright? Or, have you simply just recovered from some 'hard' stuff that you've been taking?

The topic, in case you are not aware, is about the appointment of Justice SALAMI to the SUPREME COURT, which is alleged to have been fraught with ULTERIOR MOTIVE, and rejected by the Justice.

What is the connection of your RANT about OBJ, 'Jonathan not having anything to offer', or about Jos or Maiduguri and your other gibberish, and the topic in hand. This is how exams are flunked, when, instead of dealing with the issues in hand, or the questions asked, you go off on a tangent, OTT and out of sync.

It is the mindset of people like you that is responsible for the backwardness of the country. Instead of applying the appropriate medication to deal with Malaria, you are curing Rheumatism.


Some ppl Do Not Understand

@OC ...Referred to your comment titled "Enough of this JERRY SPRINGER AUDIENCE type of reactions!" You are nothing, but a fool...I strongly believed that you are not a Nigerian. Even, you are more foolish by demanding for evidences. I am not sure that you are in Nigeria. What other evidence do someone need? If there is no electrical power, the political power is highly manipulated, the economic power is being controlled by some foolish cabals claiming to own Nigeria. I will not be surprised, if you are nothing but a Nigerian puppet with "robotic" utterances which are meaningless at this point in time.

@Kekedu, referred to your comment titled "His refusal has only confirmed my fears". I strongly believed that you have a puppet brain too.

@David Tobi, God will bless you and we shall get to the promise land in due course.

@Samuel Ademola, you will go the way of OC...why is it that, we have many puppets in Nigeria with rat brains?

@Oladele, you are in tune.

@Sauudu Mohammed your madness in your paternal house has not left you. You should go to Yaba Left for a cure. Nigerians are tired of rat-brain like you.

i agree

I totally agree with you OC, it is of no use to read meanings to what you can't prove.
While I'm not a fan of the ruling party, but I think SR reports are often unnecessarily and obviously anti-govt, they have a way of writing in such a way they make you hate a group of people, it should'nt be so. What they can't prove they should not write, not opinions of some faceless lawyers nobody knows.
I'm desirous of ridding nigeria of PDP, but not by condemning them to a firing squad. We should learn to be civil and subtle about it.

it's a puzzle

It is a little puzzling but it is quite straight forward. But let me start by saying I'm not a lawyer and I have not read most of what other posters have written.
It may true that he's being transferred to the supreme court to emasculate him, but he actually does not have to resist it cos it is a promotion for him. Is there a law officer who does'nt want to move up in his/her career?
If he insists on staying because he feels it's a punishment( I refuse to accept this line of argument) for letting PDP lose some states as being bandied around, then I ask-has he become God or has he become a member of the opposition? He shld not bother, other judges that will give right judgements are still there.
If it's because he's from the north-central but it's the turn of the south-west to present a supreme court judge, I say he can as well represent the south-west afterall he's a yoruba man and we are proud of him.
I suspect it's because of the paraphernalia of office he's enjoying; everyone would agree that he would rather be the boss in the appellate court than be a junior in the highest court. May God help the nigerian mentality.

Personal Republic

The word "personal republic" is so fitting to describe this silly drama. What is the use or meaning of a constitution that don’t reflect the law of the land?
Beginning, from the president to the court clerk each swear to uphold the constitution...WHICH CONSTITUTION?
The Constitution stated 231/2 "The appointment of a person to the office of a justice of the Supreme Court shall be made by the President on the recommendation of the National Judicial Council subject to confirmation of such appointment by the Senate."
Supreme Court Justice is the highest rank/position a Lawyer or judge can attend in course of his or her career. The constitution stipulated and demands that such nominee to this life time appointment be screened by the Senate Judiciary committee and can only to be confirmed by majority vote
The constitution never talked of a judge being promoted by the chief justice. As the process of such appointment is nomination means the nominee can refuse such nomination, normally out of the fear that the nominee may not pass senate screening and not for the perverse reason stated here.


PDP led by Obasanjo want to rig 2011 election is why they want to perfect it before that time. Katsina Alu nominated Adoke(AGF) because Adoke used to collect bribe for him. PDP primaries was rigged through intimidation and bribery. Jonathan does not have anything to offer Nigeria, look at Jos, Maiduguri etc, what about power? what is happening in Tunisia and Egypt can happen here o! We are getting more and more aware by the day. Imagine the old fool call Obasanjo, after using my fathers time and time without significant change, want to now determine the future of my children. We shall not allow this. Please Nigerians do not vote on religious or Ethnic line. Same poverty in Kano is not different from the one in Asaba. Christians and Muslims use same dangerous road and un equipped hospital. They killed education so that you will never know your rights. Pls THINK before you cast your vote o! God help us.

Bad omen

Uhmmm! This is a bad omen for both the "Bench and the Bar" in Nigeria.

Communications like this should never have gotten out into the Public domain.

The judiciary deserves better. Justice Isa Ayo Salami should have channelled his grievance about his proposed or purported transfer to the Grievance or whatever Committee is responsible, keep it within the bench and not politicize the only institution that remains the hope of the people in Nigeria.
Same goes for the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Aloysius Katsina-Alu.

The Legislature with the way they share the bounty in form of their "salaries and remunerations" have shown total lack of concern for the welfare of the poor, the jobless millions of Nigerians and the future of that country.
The Executive is still comatose and facing a long period of recuperation after being taken off the 'ventilator' in Saudi Arabia...thanks to late President Yaradua's visionless "Kitchen Cabinet."
I whole heartedly agree with your honor that we should "[l]et no one do anything to disrupt the status quo [of the Judiciary]."

Indeed " Nigeria [should] after all [be] greater than all of us."

Janet Fashakin, RN, RM, LL.B (Hons), LLM, PHD, Esq.,
Principal Attorney, Fashakin & Associates, PC,
A.L.I.F.E (Appeal, Litigations (Civil & Criminal), Immigration, Family & Estate) focusing Law Firm .
718-805-2522, NY,USA

Be honest !

Let us be realistic and honest to before it gets late, meanwhile,President Jonathan and Jega alone cannot bring us the kind of leadership we require but with tghe sopport each and every one of us together we will make so many good things happen. Having said that, I will want advise the entire NIGERIANS to please learn how to express our views and address our leaders.


Its unfortunate that the President is being dragged into this matter.While I am not his spokesman, has it not occurred to anyone that this is a double-edged sword.It is possible the man decided to remain where he is for purely personal and practical reasons.Anyone familiar with the judicial system knows that it is hard to exchange the position of Chief Judge for Justice of Court of Appeal just as it is hard to exchange that of President of Court of Appeal for that of Justice of Supreme Court.This is because while the movement to the higher Court might appear to be a promotion,the power, opportunity and all that goes with the head of the Court of Appeal is not the same with becoming one of the numbers in the next higher Court and eventually the most juniour Justice in that Court as the respected Justice Salami will be once he moves.
Besides,if the motive of the promotion was simply to emasculate him, then we need to remember that Governorship appeals now terminate at the Supreme Court like the Presidential appeals have always been.The implication is that the CJN need do nothing else but to simply lay ambush for the cases as they come on appeal and then upturn whatever "damage" Salami had done.Please let us remember that the individuals who occupy judicial offices represent the institution which is bigger than them. By denigrating them, we throw stones not at them but at the institutions which belong to all of us as Nigerians.

Ayo Salami is the truth.....

You are wrong,We should learn to praise the people who stood for the truth in this country.If he is taking bribe why not take from the siting governors who have more money to pay,than taking from some body like Fayemi,or Arigbesola or even Tinubu.Justice Ayo salami is type we need to move this countrys judiciary forward.Every thing about Katsina-Alu is fraud.

Pls guys face the issue and stop name calling

I am happy that we still have men of few men of honour in our judicial sysetm. This is a rejection of the century. Katsina Alu as we all know is corrupt and allpoliticla cases he handled in Nigeria went for the highest bidder. He will go thesame way as that of formal AGF ANDOKAAAAAA . Thiefs. When old men look the other way, I wonder what legacy they will leave for the children. Pls SALAMI, I salute your courage, you have your reputation to keep for yourself and ur children children. One thing is very clear all of us will one day join our ancestors. Katsina Alu, we know that election is near and you want to remove this integrity man so that when election dispute is brought to the appealete court, it will be win win for the PDP.This time you and the PDP are making mistakes. What is happening in Egypt will be a child play as Nigerian are ever ready to confront all the political theives in Nigeria


Good name is said to be better than riches. Going down history we are quick to remember noble men like: justice uwais, justice kutigi, justice belgore. These men have their names imprint in sand of time as incorruptible justices.
My candid advice to justice katsina-alu is that he must not lower the bar set by his predecessors.
If he allows himself to be used by desperate politicians to subvert justice, posterity will never forgive him.


Good name is said to be better than riches. Going down history we are quick to remember noble men like: justice uwais, justice kutigi, justice belgore. These men have their names imprint in sand of time as incorruptible justices.
My candid advice to justice katsina-alu is that he must not lower the bar set by his predecessors.
If he allows himself to be used by desperate politicians to subvert justice, posterity will never forgive him.

The Meaningless Promotion

Thanks to Sahara Reporters, the Nation is now aware of the needless controversy generated by a promotion to nowhere. From what is known to the Public, the President of the Court of Appeal has the same benefits as a Justice of the Supreme Court. The difference being in their respective Judicial Review powers.
The nation has to be alert, particularly members og the |Learned| profession because it looks as if there is a desperation by some insidious Nigerians to manipulate the April election come what may. This is particularly more telling when we realise that as part of the "Amendments: to the Electoral Act is a clause that :allows thre governorship election appeal to terminate at the Supreme Court; and that in the event the allegations of fraud are proved, the Court CANNOT reverse the "fraud" but could only order a re-run! Lets wake up and unite otherwise we are in for really rude and authoritarian rule by crooks.

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