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Pauline Tallen apologises to Nigerians, judiciary on ‘kangaroo judgment’ comment

A former Minister of Women’s Affairs, Pauline Tallen has apologised to the judiciary for describing the verdict of a court as a “kangaroo judgment”. According…

A former Minister of Women’s Affairs, Pauline Tallen has apologised to the judiciary for describing the verdict of a court as a “kangaroo judgment”.

According to Tallen, her remarks were “Misconstrued and quoted out of context”.

In the apology letter dated January 15, the former minister said the comment was not a call for civil disobedience against judges and the NBA.

“This is with reference to the Judgment of the FCT High Court, delivered on Dec. 18, 2023, in suit No. FCT/HC/CV/816/2022 (The Incorporated Trustees of Nigerian Bar Association and Dame Pauline Tallen, OFR, KSG),” the letter reads.

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“I hereby, apologise to the Judiciary and Nigerians for the statement credited to me that the Court’s decision in Suit No. FHC/YL/CS/12/2022 (Mallam Nuhu Ribadu Vs APC & 3 Ors), sacking Senator Aishatu Dahiru Binani as the 2023 APC Adamawa State Governorship Candidate, was a Kangaroo Judgment and should be rejected.

“The said statement was, by and large, misconstrued and quoted out of context, as it was not in any way, or by any stretch of the imagination, intended to malign or undermine the integrity of the nation’s judiciary, neither was it a call for civil disobedience against the Bar and the Bench.”

Recall, in October 2023, the Federal High Court in Yola annulled the candidacy of Aishatu Dahiru, the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate for Adamawa in the last general election.

She criticised the court’s ruling, calling it a “kangaroo judgment” and encouraging Nigerians to reject it.

Tallen made the comment while serving as Minister of Women’s Affairs in the immediate past administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.

Subsequently, the President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Yakubu Maikyau, wrote to Mrs Tallen, asking her to withdraw the comment and tender an unreserved apology to the court for the “disparaging and contemptuous remarks”. Afterward, the NBA filed a suit against Tallen.

In December 2023, a high court in Abuja barred the former minister from holding public office.

The court ordered that the injunction restraining the defendant from holding any public office in Nigeria would become perpetual, if she failed to obey the order directing her to publish an apology within 30 days.

In January, the former minister filed 32 grounds of appeal against the decision of the lower court.

Tallen asked the Court of Appeal to set aside the judgment of the lower court, saying it was a miscarriage of justice.

 

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