Kangaroo judgment comment: Court bars former Women Minister, Tallen

A High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Monday, barred former Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Dame Pauline Tallen, from holding public office until she purges herself of calling a court decision “A kangaroo judgment that should be rejected by well-meaning Nigerians.”

The Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, had on December 14, 2022, dragged Tallen to court, over her public comments made in respect of the judgment of a Federal High Court in suit No. FHC/YL/12/2022 between Mallam Nuhu Ribadu v. All Progressives Congress, APC & 2 Ors delivered on October 14, 2022.

Tallen had on October 15, 2022, described the court decision as “a kangaroo judgment that should be rejected by well-meaning Nigerians.”

Meanwhile, NBA National Publicity Secretary, Akorede Lawal in a statement on Monday, said:

The aforesaid statement by the former minister was widely circulated in both social and print media, and it was particularly reported by most of the major newspapers in the country.

By a letter dated November 14, 2022, the NBA President, Mr. Yakubu Maikyau, SAN, had written to the former Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development demanding her to withdraw the said disparaging comments and tender an unreserved and public apology to the court, failing which the NBA would institute an action against her as being unfit to continue to hold any public office in Nigeria.

This letter was never responded to and the demands therein were not complied with, hence the institution of Suit No: CV/816/2016 before the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory.

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Earlier today, December 18, 2023, the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory found in favour of the NBA and against the defendant, Dame Tallen in suit No: CV/816/2016.

Consequently, the court declared that the said statement of Dame Tallen, the defendant, was unconstitutional, careless, reckless, disparaging, a call to disobey the judgment of court and therefore, contemptuous of the Federal High Court.

The court also granted among other reliefs an injunction restraining Tallen from holding any public office in Nigeria, unless she purges herself of the ignoble conduct by publishing a personally signed apology letter to Nigerians and the judiciary in the media.

The court ordered that the injunction restraining the defendant from holding any public office in Nigeria shall become perpetual if she fails to abide by the order directing her to publish an apology letter within 30 days.

The NBA shall remain committed to maintaining, advancing and defending the integrity of the judiciary, and we will ensure that all those who seek to denigrate the judiciary are brought to book.

The NBA shall also not fail to call out any judicial officer who fails to abide by his judicial code of conduct, even as we urge judicial officers to take their oath seriously, and avoid actions and omissions that will give the appearance of compromise.

The NBA President thanks all members of the legal team that prosecuted this suit on behalf of the NBA, namely, Aikpokpo Martins, Olukunle Edun, Eseagwu Nwabueze, Anne Agi, Nwabueze Kelvin, and T. Danjuma,” the statement added.

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