Former President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Olumide Akpata, has urged the President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Monica Dongban-Mensem, to address the reported divergence between the judgment pronounced in the court and the certified true copy obtained from the court registry in the Kano State governorship election appeal.
In a statement on Friday, Akpata expressed deep concern about the flawed recruitment process for Justices of the Appeal Court, highlighting deficiencies in basic legal knowledge among some candidates. He warned that such issues could have a detrimental impact on the future of the judiciary and the nation.
Describing the Kano election appeal judgment’s discrepancy as “bizarre,” Akpata asserted that it has intensified the crisis within the Nigerian judiciary, leading to bewildering and perplexing judgments.
He criticized the Chief Registrar of the Appeal Court, Umar Bangari, who attributed the discrepancy to a clerical error. Akpata deemed this explanation untenable, emphasizing that the nature and impact of the error on a crucial part of the judgment make it difficult to accept without further clarification.
The Court of Appeal, sitting in Abuja, recently affirmed the tribunal judgment that declared the All Progressive Congress candidate, Nasiru Gawuna, the winner of the Kano governorship election. The tribunal had nullified the election of Governor Abba Yusuf, stating that a significant number of his votes were invalid due to unsigned and unstamped ballot papers.
Yusuf, dissatisfied with the tribunal verdict, appealed against it. However, the appeals court’s judgment introduced contradictions, leading to confusion and protests by supporters of political parties across major parts of the state.