Emerging revelation has broke out in the rancorous relationship between Justice Adeniyi Ademola of a Federal High Court in Abuja,
and the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr.
Abubakar Malami, were revealed on Saturday.
Justice Ademola, who was one of the
seven judges arrested by operatives of the Department of State Services on
allegations of corruption during simultaneous raids on their homes between
October 7 and 8, 2016, stated this in a letter to the National Judicial
Justice Ademola, in his letter
dated October 11, 2016 and addressed to the Chief Justice of Nigeria and
Chairman of the NJC, Justice Mahmud Mohammed, alleged that the ordeal he faced
during the raid on his home and his subsequent arrest was instigated by Malami.
He explained that Malami instigated
his arrest to take his pound of flesh after he (the judge) had pressed a case
of professional misconduct against the minister while he (the minister) was
still practising as a lawyer in Kano.
The judge said he was then a judge
of the Federal High Court serving in the Kano Division.
An extract from the letter read,
“What is more intriguing in this whole episode is that I see it as revenge from
the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami. While I was in Kano
between 2004 and 2007 as a Federal High Court judge, he was involved in a
professional misconduct necessitating his arrest and detention by my order.
“However, with the intervention of
the Nigerian Bar Association, Kano branch, the allegation of misconduct was
later withdrawn by me.
“Consequently, the National
Judicial Council referred Abubakar Malami (SAN) to the Nigerian Bar Association’s
Documents obtained by Urban Express
revealed how petitions dated October 10, 2006 and December 11, 2006, sent by
Malami to the NJC against Justice Ademola allegedly backfired.
The minister was forced to withdraw
the petition through a letter dated December 14, 2006, but the NJC considered
the withdrawal to be late.
In one of the documents obtained by
our correspondent, the minister indicated in a correspondence to the Legal
Practitioners Privileges Committee, the body that confers SAN rank on deserving
lawyers, how his allegation against the judge had cost him the rank of SAN in
He subsequently wrote a letter to
the LPPC indicating that he had apologised and obtained Justice Ademola’s
forgiveness so that the matter would not jeopardise his bid to become a SAN in
In one of the said petitions
against Justice Ademola, Malami was said to have made a claim which he
attributed to his client that the judge had an interest in the proceeds of a
case which was the subject matter of a suit the judge was presiding over.
A letter by the NJC dated April 30,
2007, exonerating Justice Ademola, described Malami’s allegation against the
judge as unfounded.
Concerned about the “grievous
allegations” levelled against the judge, the NJC under the chairmanship of the
then Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Legbo Kutigi (retd.) referred the matter
to the Nigerian Bar Association for “appropriate actions it deems fit in the
The NJC, in the letter signed by
its secretary, Mr. Danladi Halilu, and with reference number NJC/A.7/S.2/X/146,
stated that it found Justice Ademola’s explanation satisfactory and Malami’s
The letter was addressed to Malami.
The NJC’s letter read in part,
“Your letters of 10th and 14th December, 2006, to the Chief Justice of Nigeria
and Chairman of the National National Judicial council, respectively, on the
above subject matter, were considered by the Council at its last meeting which
was held on 14th March, 2007.
“At the end of deliberations, the
council found the explanation by Justice F. A Ademola satisfactory and your
petition baseless. Consequently, Justice
Adeniyi F. A. Ademola had been exonerated from all the allegations contained
“Further, Council noted with
concern the unfounded grievous allegations levelled by you against the judge in
“Therefore, the matter is being
referred to the Nigerian Bar Association for its consideration and any
appropriate action it deems fit in the circumstance.”
In another letter dated April 30,
2007, signed by Halilu and which was addressed to the Chairman of the Legal
Practitioners Disciplinary Committee (also the CJN), the NJC described Malami’s
allegation against Justice Ademola as “spurious.”
THE NJC stated, “The Managing
Director of Standard Alliance Financial Services Limited, N. Baffa, for whom
Abubakar Malami Esq. appeared as counsel in the above-mentioned suit denied
knowledge of the content of the petition, which means Abubakar Malami decided
on his own to make spurious allegations against the person of the judge.
“From the response of the judge,
the client of Abubakar Malami, Nura Baffa, swore to an affidavit in support of
the allegation that the trial judge had interest in the proceeds of the
fertilizer. Whereas from the documents submitted by the judge due process of
law was followed by the court in executing the court orders on the sale of the
Further correspondences sent by
Malami to the then CJN, Justice Kutigi, in his capacity as the Chairman of the
Legal Practitioners Privileges Committee, and to Ademola, revealed the
minister’s remorse about the development.
Malami wrote the letter to the
LPPC, upon realising the potential damage the remarks of the NJC on his conduct
could cause his bid to become a SAN.
In a letter dated June 21, 2008,
addressed to Ademola, who had then been transferred from Kano Division of the
Federal High Court to the Calabar Division, Malami expressed appreciation to
the judge for his forgiveness.
When contacted by our correspondent
on Saturday, the minister’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Salihu
Isah, said he had no comment to make on the past correspondences between his
boss and Justice Ademola as well as other institutions.
But he said Ademola should be more
concerned about defending himself over the allegations levelled against him.
Isah said, “I have no comment about
the said letters because anybody can come up with any letter. I don’t even see
the relevance of the said letters to the situation on ground.