By Aluta News
Jan. 16, 2024
Former Minister of Women Affairs, Pauline Tallen has apologised to Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) over her “kangaroo judgment’ comments.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that an FCT High Court had in a judgment on Dec. 18,2023, barred Tallen from holding public office, in a case, filed against her by the NBA.
Justice Peter Kekemeke, who gave the order, following Tallen’s alleged disparaging comments against the judiciary had, however, given her an option to publish a personally signed apology letter to the NBA, or the order would become perpetual.
However, the former minister, in an apology letter to the NBA and Nigerians, signed by her, dated Jan. 15, apologised over the said comments.
The letter reads: “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).
” 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.
“Kindly accept the assurances of my highest esteem. God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria!”
NAN further recalls that while delivering judgement on the case, the FCT High Court had described Tallen’s alleged comments against the judiciary concerning a decision of the Federal High Court in Adamawa State as “disparaging,” “unconstitutional, careless, reckless.”
It further held that the former minister’s call to disobey the judgement of the court was “contemptuous of the Federal High Court of Nigeria.”
Tallen’s battle with the NBA began after Sen. Aisha Dahiru (Binani), the then Adamawa APC governorship flagbearer, had polled 430 votes, to defeat her closest rival, Nuhu Ribadu, who polled 288, during the May, 2022 APC primary elections.
Ribadu, now National Security Adviser (NSA), had challenged the outcome of the contest, and Justice Abdulaziz Anka, nullified Binani’s victory, on account of non-compliance with the Electoral Act 2022, Nigeria’s constitution and the APC’s guidelines.
Tallen, as the then serving Minister of Women Affairs and APC chieftain, while reacting to the judgment at a public function, allegedly described the decision as a ‘Kangaroo judgment’, which aimed at marginalising women in Nigerian politics.
She allegedly decried that many women, like Binani, who was the only female aspirant in the Adamawa APC governorship primary, were not fairly treated during the primaries for the 2023 general elections.
The NBA, under its then President, Mr Yakubu Maikyau, SAN, who was said to be miffed by the former minister’s comments, did not take it lightly and, therefore, sought an apology from her, but to no avail.
The association told the court that it wrote Tallen a letter, dated Nov. 14, 2023, demanding a withdrawal of the alleged disparaging comments, and tendering an unreserved public apology to the Court, which she did not oblige.
It said that its letter was never responded to, and it’s demands therein were not complied with by Tallen, hence the institution of the suit against her before the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory.