The second part of the paper by a former President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Isa Ayo Salami (retd), on the issue of corruption in Nigeria and the way out. For instance, when I was invited by Honourable Justice Aloma Mariam Mukhtar, CJN, and Honourable Justice Mahmud Mohammed, JSC, who was then the next most senior justice of the Supreme Court, and now the incumbent CJN, to discuss the issue of whether I would be prepared to accept the decision of the National Judicial Council to stay for three months and then leave the service, the options were laid before me.
They were whether I was agreeable to come and spend three months and then proceed on retirement or the impasse would continue.
I opted to return, spend three months and proceed on retirement. They were apparently taken aback as they did not anticipate this response from me. My Lord, Mukhtar, was obviously uncomfortable with my choice and was visibly shaken. She asked if I took proper advice on the issue and I assured her that I did. She then stated that if she were me, she would seek further advice. She left the meeting and returned to her desk. I was given one week to think over it.
She did not find time for me until about a fortnight or more later. Meanwhile, she had embarked on the appointment of Honourable Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa as the acting President of the Court of Appeal. Indeed, she had already forwarded her recommendation to President Goodluck Jonathan, who had, in turn, forwarded it to the Honourable Attorney General for his comments. I feigned ignorance of the steps being taken which explained her conduct when we first met.