Godwin Tsa, Abuja
Jurist Watchers International (JWI), a court monitoring group, has questioned the credibility of the letter purportedly written by former President of the Court of Appeal (PCA), Justice Ayo Salami, refuting media reports that he expressed regrets on his appointment to head the Presidential Judicial Commission of Inquiry, currently probing the activities of the suspended Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu.
In a statement by its Coordinator, Abraham Winford, the group said it believed that the purported letter was written by the retired Justice and find the letter unacceptable.
Justice Salami had in the letter in reference, said he has no reasons to regret his appointment as Chairman of the probe panel that is currently investigating allegations against Ibrahim Magu, bordering on abuse of office and mismanagement of Federal government recovered assets and finances from May 2015 to May 2020.
The retired jurist went further to described as ‘false and mischievous reports circulating in the media,’ about his purported regrets to head the probe panel.
He said the false reports are aimed at causing mischief and tarnishing his hard-earned reputation and integrity.
He said: ‘Ordinarily, I would not have dignified the purveyors of this falsehood with any form of rebuttal, but the need to put the records straight and expose their barefaced lies has necessitated my response.
‘No claims can be further from the truth than the outright falsehood contained in the said report.
‘The reports were a figment of the wild imagination of the reporter,’ the two lawyers quoted as his sources and the medium that published the story.
However, the group in a statement noted that the both the contents and language employed in the said letter did not befit the status of the retired Jurist.
While attributing the letter to some mischief makers, JWI said: ‘The deployment of Justice Salami’s English language as reflected in his judgments is antithetical to that of the mischief makers, who are behind the unsigned letter.’
Picking holes in the letter, it observed that ‘the letter was not signed by Justice Salami or anyone else. The said letter was written on a letter- headed paper titled “The Presidency” whether the said “Presidency” is situate in Ghana, Cameroun, Burkina Faso, Honolulu or Antarctica is baffling as there is no address whatsoever on the letter.
‘The Linguistics etymology lacked the pre-requisite judicial procedure. The language employed was most uncouth, unprofessional and unbecoming of any jurist anywhere in the world.
‘The deployment of Justice Salami’s English language as reflected in his Judgments is antithetical to that of the mischief makers who are behind the unsigned letter.
‘Even more stranger than fiction is the unprecedented practice of a Judge stopping court descending to the arena to issue a press statement in the middle of judicial proceedings-especially in a press statement reeking of bias and threats to the victim – Mr Ibrahim Magu and his lawyers.
‘We find this unprecedented antics of the mischief makers not only unconscionable but repugnant to natural Justice equity and good conscience.’
The group stated that ‘the insertion of Justice Salami’s name in a letter he did not write by these mischief makers smacks of desperation to nail an innocent Ibrahim Magu, who is being persecuted rather than prosecuted.’
It urged Justice Salami to reject what it regards as an act of injustice.