Professor Chidi Odinkalu, a legal scholar, has harshly criticized Nigeria’s appellate court for presenting a certified true copy (CTC) of its recent ruling on the contentious Kano State governorship elections that contradicts one another.
In a Channels TV interview on Wednesday, the former chairman of the National Human Rights Commission refuted claims that discrepancies in the CTC were merely inadvertent typos.
While minor mistakes can be corrected under the Slip Rule legal principle, Odinkalu stressed that changing the favored party after the verdict and materially modifying binding conclusions would be considered misconduct.
The professor claims that the appeal court’s verbal declaration last Friday that incumbent governor Abba Yusuf had lost the election and the CTC’s ruling reversing the lower tribunal’s verdict and awarding costs to Yusuf are incompatible.
He maintained that issues that have previously been decided by judges cannot be reopened by lower courts. Odinkalu contended that the judgment’s certification casts a negative light on the Nigerian judiciary and highlights the incapacity of the continent’s second highest court to prevent such chaos.
“A credible system will never develop and confirm this kind of judgment.Odinkalu emphasized that the shortcomings rob people of their faith in the administration of justice, saying that “any lawyer worth their onions should be scandalized.”
Confusion has been caused in Kano by the perplexing ruling, which surfaced on Tuesday after the CTC revealed that the appellate court had upheld Yusuf’s governorship. This went against its previous harsh abuse of the politician from the New Nigeria Peoples Party.
Appeal Court Registrar Umar Bangari responded to the dispute by blaming it on a misspelling that, in his words, does not alter the outcome. However, campaigners like Odinkalu are still not happy with the reaction or the justification.
As Governor Yusuf attempts to regain his mandate, the increasingly contentious Kano governorship legal issue is now probably headed to the Supreme Court. Odinkalu, however, is adamant that the Appeal Court first explain its erroneous ruling.