A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja yesterday struck out a suit filed by the Registered Trustees of Centre for the Promotion of Arbitration, seeking to compel NJC to reinstate suspended former President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Ayo Isa Salami.
The court presided by Justice Adamu Bello held that the members of the organization lacked the requisite locus standi to institute the action.
The judge said that the subject matter of the case was the removal from office of the embattled former President of the Court of Appeal and that the interest in the case is a private one relating to the rights of Justice Salami and that no other person or party can seek to redress the wrong in a matter that involves private interest except the person whose interest had been breached.
“I am of the strong view that the subject matter of this present suit is the private rights of Justice Salami, it pertains to him and no other to seek his reinstatement. This suit is not about public right interest but of a private right of Justice Salami. He was not the plaintiff in this matter but was made a defendant. It is Salami’s legal rights that is affected and only he can seek redress” the court stated.
The court further noted that the suit would have been sustained had the ousted former President of the Court of Appeal been made a co plaintiff in the matter rather than being made a defendant in a matter that he ought to be pursuing himself. Subsequently, the suit was stuck out but no order was made as to cost.
Justice Salami has been on suspension since August 18, 2011 when the NJC found him guilty of gross misconduct following his refusal to apologize to former Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Justice Aloysius Katsina-Alu.
He was later recalled by the NJC who said that he was not at fault.
The National Judicial Council, NJC, had insisted that it is within its constitutional powers to recall and reinstate Justice Salami as the President of the Court of Appeal and does not require to the President’s consent.