Ex-Minister Tallen Fights Back, Appeals Court Ruling Barring Her From Holding Public Office


Former Minister of Women Affairs, Pauline Tallen, has launched an appeal against a court decision that barred her from holding public office.

The ex-minister is contesting a ruling by the FCT High Court, which disqualified her over her alleged “disparaging” comments about a previous court judgment.

Justice Peter Kekemeke of the FCT High Court issued the disqualification on December 18th in a lawsuit filed by the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA). The NBA accused Tallen of making “contemptuous” remarks against the judiciary following a court ruling in Adamawa State.


However, the judge offered Tallen an escape route: a public apology published in full-page ads of two national newspapers. The deadline for this apology was 30 days from the judgment date, with failure to comply resulting in a permanent ban on public office.

Tallen, through her lawyer JK Gadzama, has opted for an appeal of the judgement. In a Notice of Appeal filed on January 2nd, she argues that the High Court’s decision amounted to a “miscarriage of justice” and demands its reversal.

Her appeal, filed with 13 grounds, seeks to have the disqualification overturned and the lawsuit dismissed entirely. Tallen contends that the court erred by accepting the NBA’s affidavit, questioning its legal standing and the legitimacy of the lawsuit despite her “credible evidence” to the contrary.

The controversy stems from Tallen’s comments regarding a Federal High Court judgment in Adamawa State that nullified the governorship candidacy of Aishatu Dahiru (Binani), the All Progressives Congress (APC) flagbearer. Tallen, a party stalwart, publicly criticised the ruling as a “kangaroo judgment” aimed at marginalising women in Nigerian politics.

Sen Aisha Dahiru (Binani) polled 430 votes to defeat her closest rival, Nuhu Ribadu, who polled 288 during the May 2022 APC primary elections.

Binani’s closest opponent, Nuhu Ribadu, who is now the National Security Adviser (NSA), challenged the outcome of the contest, but Justice Abdulaziz Anka nullified Binani’s victory on account of non-compliance with the Electoral Act 2022, Nigeria’s constitution, and the APC’s guidelines.


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