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Pauline Tallen bows to pressure, apologises over ‘kangaroo judgment’ comments

Ex-minister of women affairs Pauline Tallen has apologised to Nigerians, the judiciary, and the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) for describing a ruling by a court as ‘kangaroo judgment’.

On December 18, 2023, an FCT High Court barred Mrs Tallen from holding public office. The case was filed against her by the NBA.

Justice Peter Kekemeke, who gave the order following Tallen’s comments against the judiciary, had 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 signed by her and dated January 15, apologised for her 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!”

Tallen’s battle with the NBA began after Senator Aisha Dahiru (Binani), the then Adamawa APC governorship flagbearer, polled 430 votes to defeat 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, who was at the time a minister, said the court’s decision was a ‘kangaroo judgment’, which aimed at marginalising women in Nigerian politics.

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