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Ex-Minister Appeals Court Ruling Banning Her From Public Office Over ‘Kangaroo Judgement’ Comments

Former Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Pauline Tallen, has lodged an appeal with the Court of Appeal in Abuja, contesting a Federal Capital Territory High Court judgement, restraining her from holding any public office in the country.

The appeal, comprising 13 grounds, challenges the decision related to her public comments regarding a Federal High Court decision.

Represented by the law firm of Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Joe-Kyari Gadzama, Tallen’s appeal, dated December 29, 2023, contests the entirety of Justice Peter Kekemeke’s ruling on December 18th, which favoured the Incorporated Trustees of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA).

In that ruling, Justice Kekemeke deemed Tallen’s statement as unconstitutional, careless, and contemptuous of the Federal High Court, restraining her from holding public office in Nigeria unless she published an apology in two newspapers within 30 days.

One of the grounds of appeal contests the trial court’s misdirection in law, citing that a lawyer cannot depose to an affidavit in a matter they participated in, contrary to a Supreme Court decision.

Tallen also contests the trial judge’s reliance on specific sections of the NBA Constitution, asserting that the association lacked the requisite locus standi to bring the action against her.

Her appeal requests the Court of Appeal to set aside the trial court’s decision, sustain her preliminary objection to the NBA Suit, dismiss Justice Kekemeke’s judgement, and grant costs.

The legal tussle stems from Tallen’s remarks in October 2022, criticising a Federal High Court judgement as a “kangaroo judgement.” Following her refusal to withdraw the statement and tender a public apology as demanded by the NBA, the association initiated legal proceedings against her, culminating in the FCT High Court’s judgement in December 2023.

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