Former Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Pauline Tallen, has filed a suit to counter her restrainment from holding public office.
Tallen filed a suit with the Court of Appeal in Abuja, contesting a Federal Capital Territory High Court judgment, which restrained her from holding any public office in the country.
Recall that in October 2023, a Federal High Court in Yola, Adamawa State, nullified the candidacy of Aishatu Dahiru, better known as Binani, the All Progressives Congress governorship candidate for Adamawa in the last general election.
While reacting to the verdict, Tallen expressed dissatisfaction with the court’s decision, called it a “Kangaroo judgment” and advised Nigerians to reject it.
Tallen made the comment when she was minister under former President Muhammadu Buhari.
The Nigerian Bar Association threatened to institute legal action against Tallen, if she failed to withdraw her statement, which the NBA claimed was never responded to, hence a suit was filed against the former minister, according to The Guardian.
In his judgment, Peter Kekemeke of the FCT High Court condemned Tallen’s “disparaging comments” against the judiciary over a decision of the court. In that ruling, 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.
In a notice of appeal filed on Tuesday, the former minister asked the Court of Appeal to set aside the judgment of the lower court, saying it was a miscarriage of justice.
She argued that the lower court erred and failed to consider her preliminary objection on the competence of the respondent’s affidavit, locus standi and propriety of the suit.
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 judgment, and grant costs.