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KANO: Bewildering Court Of Appeal Judgment Shows A Failed Judiciary — Odinkalu Rejects ‘Clerical Error’ Excuse


Legal scholar Professor Chidi Odinkalu has strongly criticized Nigeria’s appellate court for producing a contradictory certified true copy (CTC) of its recent verdict on the disputed Kano State governorship polls.

Speaking Wednesday during an interview on Channels TV, the former chairman of the National Human Rights Commission rejected suggestions that conflicting aspects of the CTC were just innocent clerical errors.

Odinkalu emphasized that while the legal principle of Slip Rule allows corrections of minor typos, fundamentally altering binding conclusions and changing the favored party post-judgment constitutes malfeasance.

According to the professor, the CTC’s finding overturning the lower tribunal decision and awarding costs to incumbent governor Abba Yusuf is irreconcilable with the appeal court also verbally pronouncing Yusuf’s election sack last Friday.

He insisted only higher courts can reopen questions already judicially resolved. Odinkalu argued the inability of Africa’s second highest court to avoid such disorder while certifying the judgment shows the Nigerian judiciary in unflattering light.

No system that is credible will produce this kind of judgement and certify it…any lawyer worth their onions should be scandalized,” Odinkalu stated, stressing the failings rob citizens of trust in getting justice.

The baffling judgment has elicited confusion in Kano after the CTC emerged Tuesday showing the appellate court affirming Yusuf as governor. This contradicted its earlier verbal sack of the New Nigeria Peoples Party politician.

Reacting to the controversy, Appeal Court Registrar Umar Bangari blamed it on a typo error which he claimed does not change the conclusion. But activists like Odinkalu remain unsatisfied with the response and explanation.

The increasingly controversial Kano governorship legal dispute is now likely heading to the Supreme Court as Governor Yusuf pushes to reclaim his mandate. But Odinkalu insists the Appeal Court first has to clarify its inconsistent judgement.

Credit: The Nigeria Lawyer

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