Tobi Soniyi in Lagos
The Chief Justice of Nigeria who doubles as the Chairman of the National Judicial Council (NJC), Justice Walter Nkanu Onnoghen, has appointed a retired Justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Suleiman Galadima, as the new Chairman of the Corruption and Financial Crime Cases Trial Monitoring Committee (COTRIMCO).
NJCâ€™s Director of Information, Mr. Soji Oye, in a statement said Galadima would replace Justice Ayo Salami (rtd) who excused himself from the committee as the chairman, after initially accepting to serve.
Initial reports had claimed that Salami rejected the appointment because he was uncomfortable with some members of the committee.
He latter said he turned down the appointment because the judiciary abandoned him during his travails that resulted in his suspension from the bench.
He said the leadership of the judiciary that had appointed him to chair a committee, refused to reinstate him despite a recommendation to that effect.
The NJCâ€™s spokesperson said the committee would be inaugurated today by the CJN at the NJCâ€™s conference hall by 2p.m.
Justice Galadima was born in October 1946 in Nasarawa State. He retired on October 10, 2016, at the mandatory retirement age of 70 years.
He attended Government College Keffi where he obtained the West Africa School Certificate in 1965 before he proceeded to Ahmadu Bello University where he obtained a bachelorâ€™s degree in law in 1977 and was called to the Bar after he graduated from the Nigerian Law School in 1978.
He later received a masterâ€™s degree in law from the University of Jos in 1985. He joined the Anambra State Judiciary as Magistrate on July 1988 and in 1990, he was appointed as Attorney General and the Commissioner for Justice, Plateau State on May 1991, he became a High Court judge in Plateau State.
At the creation of Nasarawa State in 1996, he was appointed as its pioneer Chief Judge of the state.
On December 9, 1998, he was elevated to the Court of Appeal bench and moved to the Supreme Court on August 2010.
Justice Galadima is famous for his leading judgment in Shina Oketaolegun Vs. State, SC. 334A/2012, wherein he held that the Court of Appeal correctly reviewed the evidence led by both the prosecution and the defence in which he agreed that the evidence of one credible witness can justify conviction.
The CJN set up the committee in response to the concern expressed by the public on the very slow speed at which corruption cases were being heard and disposed of by courts.
He consequently directed all heads of courts to set up special courts to speedily hear and determine corruption and financial crime cases.
He also asked them to compile the list of such cases and forward to the NJC.