President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Ayo Isa Salami has instituted a notice of discontinuance of the suit he filed against the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Aloysius Iyorgher Katsina-Alu and the National Judicial Council (NJC). The suit challenged the controversial ‘promotion’ of Salami to the Supreme Court by the CJN.
The bid to withdraw the suit which also named the Federal Judicial Service Commission (FJSC) and the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) as co–defendants, was contained in a Notice of Discontinuance filed at the Federal High Court, Abuja Division yesterday by his team of lawyers led by Lateeef Fagbemi (SAN).
In the notice of discontinuance, the president of the appellate court said, “Following the intervention of well meaning Nigerians and stakeholders in the justice sector, I hereby apply to discontinue this suit”.
By the notice of discontinuance, Salami’s legal team is expected to pray the court to strike out the suit today.
It was learnt that some aides of the appellate court’s boss had disclosed recently that Salami was ready and willing to drop the suit he filed against the CJN and two key judicial bodies.
Salami’s resolve to withdraw the case is reportedly prompted by the progress made by the panel set up by the NJC to reconcile the warring topmost judicial officers, as well as “intervention of well meaning Nigerians”.
Salami had last Tuesday instituted the action against Katsina-Alu and others seeking a reversal of the contentious “promotion,” because it was out of the norm on such issues in the judiciary.
In an affidavit in support of the suit, which Salami deposed to personally, he alleged that Katsina-Alu asked him to compromise the Court of Appeal’s verdict on the protracted Sokoto State governorship election petition by either disbanding the original panel, which he (Katsina-Alu) believed was about to give a verdict against the governor or direct the panel to give judgment in the state chief executive’s favour.
Sources close to Salami confirmed that his decision to discontinue the action is in view of the outcome of the NJC meeting held last Wednesday, whereof the process for his appointment was terminated.
One of Salami’s aides, who sought anonymity, said: “The subject matter of the suit has been resolved at the meeting of the NJC last week. It would seem academic to insist on stopping an action that has been undone. And the courts do not waste time going on academic frolics.”
“The matter comes up on Wednesday (today) and it is highly likely, except something unusual happens, that oga (boss) will withdraw the suit on that day,” the source stated.
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