NJC appoints judge controversially removed by Jonathan to head committee on corruption cases

The National Judicial Council has appointed Ayo Salami, a retired president of the Court of Appeal, as head of the committee to monitor corruption cases in Nigerian court.

This is contained in a statement issued by Soji Oye, spokesperson of the NJC, on Wednesday.

Salami was accused of misconduct and controversially removed as head of the court of appeal by former President Goodluck Jonathan despite several panels clearing him of any wrongdoing.

According to the statement, “the Committee’s primary functions include; Regular monitoring and evaluation of proceedings at designated courts for financial and economic crimes nationwide; advising the Chief Justice of Nigeria on how to eliminate delay in the trial of alleged corruption cases (and) giving feedback to the Council on progress of cases in the designated courts.”

Others include to “conduct background checks on judges selected for the designated courts and evaluating the performance of the designated courts.”

    On September 18, Walter Onnoghen, the Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN directed the various heads of courts across the country to designate at least one court in their various jurisdictions as Special Courts solely for the purpose of hearing and speedily determining corruption and financial crime cases.

    “We have directed all heads of courts to designate in their various jurisdictions, one or more courts, depending on the volume of such cases, as Special Courts solely for the purpose of hearing and speedily determining corruption and financial crime cases,” Onnoghen said during a special court session to confer 29 lawyers with the title of Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN.

    “Where such cases come on appeal, to either the Court of Appeal or the Supreme Court, special dates on each week, shall be fixed solely for hearing and determining such appeals.

    “In order for the NJC to monitor and effectively enforce the foregoing policy, an Anti-Corruption Cases Trial Monitoring Committee will be constituted at the next Council meeting.”

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