Clarification on ‘Clerical Error’ in Kano Guber Judgment Needed – Ex-NBA President Akpata

Olumide Akpata, former president of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), has slammed the judgement of the court of appeal, which affirmed the verdict of the Kano state governorship election petition tribunal and sacked Abba Yusuf, candidate of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP), as the governor.

He, therefore, called on Monica Dongban-Mensem, president of the court of appeal, to provide “cogent clarifications” on the “clerical error” in the Kano governorship election judgment.

Recall that the certified true copy of the judgment contradicted the decision of the court’s ruling, which went against the governor.

Also, Umar Bangari, chief registrar of the court of appeal, in a bid to clarify the situation, said the purported discrepancy was a clerical error that did not affect the court’s final decision.

“What happened in the part of the judgment is just a mere clerical error that ought not to draw any issue. The court is empowered to correct such clerical error and would be done as appropriate,” he had said.

However, in a statement on Saturday, Akpata said during his time as NBA president, he had openly queried the “sub-optimal manner” in which potential justices of the court of appeal were being screened and had warned of the potentially negative and detrimental consequences.

He said while the court’s chief registrar has attributed the discrepancy to clerical error, which is a possibility, the fundamental nature of the error and “the impact it has on such a consequential part of the judgment make it extremely difficult to accept”.

“It is for this reason that I urgently call on the PCA, My Lord, Hon. Justice Monica Dongban-Mensem, as the Head of the Nigerian Court of Appeal to provide, for the benefit of Nigerians and, indeed, the world, a hopefully cogent explanation and clarification of this quagmire,” he said.

“It is the very least My Lord can and should do in the circumstances.

“It is imperative that His Lordship makes a categorical statement on this matter because the stakes are way too high and the current situation in the Judiciary (and indeed the country) too dire for the issue to be left in the hands of Registry officials.”

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