THE Nigerian Bar Association at its National Executive Meeting held at Lokoja, Kogi State on Thursday, May 24, 2012, considered many pressing issues confronting the Bar and Nigeria as a nation, including but not limited to the refusal by President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to recall the Justice I. A. Salami from suspension pursuant to the recommendation by the National Judicial Council to so do, (ii) the persistence by state governors in refusing to comply with or obey the provision of Section 121-(3) of the 1999 Constitution, which provides for financial autonomy and independence for the state judiciary as an arm of government and (iii) other matters that arose on the state of the nation: NBA/NEC hereby resolved as shown hereunder:• NEC considered the recent National Judicial Council’s recommendation to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to recall Salami to the office of the President of the Court of Appeal of Nigeria and condemned the refusal of the President so to do on the pretext of pendency of litigation in court.
NBA/NEC considered the decision was made in bad faith as there was pending litigation when the original decision to suspend him was taken. NBA/NEC reiterates its decision reached at the 2011 Annual Conference of the NBA in Port Harcourt calling for the reinstatement of the PCA on the ground that the suspension was done while there was litigation on the correctness or otherwise of the disciplinary action of the National Judicial Council. NBA/NEC viewed the decision as capable of eroding the confidence reposed in the judiciary by Nigerians;• NEC took another look at the disturbing image problem of the Judiciary in particular and the justice sector in general with the resultant effect of public odium and ridicule and advised all stakeholders particularly serving Attorneys-General of the Federation, who arrogate to themselves the right of interpreting judicial decisions and legislation in such manner that strictly suits the government of the day regardless of their oath of office, the truth and the lofty standards expected of occupants of such high office, and further advised such functionaries to desist from doing so in view of the incalculable damage such unprofessional conduct is occasioning on the system;
• The NBA NEC revisited its earlier decision to hold its 2012 Delegates’ Conference in the ancient city of Kaduna amid fears of insecurity expressed by some members and after a thorough debate and consideration of all relevant factors resolved to stand by its original decision to hold the conference there;
• NBA/NEC acknowledged the improved security measures put in place by relevant authorities to guarantee a hitch free meeting for all participants;
• NEC also considered with dismay the failure and or refusal of state governments in Nigeria to guarantee the independence of the states’ judiciary by ensuring their financial autonomy and in particular the refusal to implement the provision of section 121-(3) 0f the 1999 Constitution, which provides for financial independence and self-accounting of states judiciary and resolved to call on that tier of government to place the Judicial arm of government on first line charge of revenue allocation as this is one of the surest ways of ensuring total independence of the judiciary;
• NBA/NEC hereby authorises its branches to institute public interest litigation in those jurisdictions and against those states that have failed, refused or omitted to comply with the above constitutional provision.