CTC Error: You’ve Lost Jurisdiction To Correct Mistakes — Olanipekun Tells Appeal Court

Wole Olanipekun,

Counsel to Governor Abba Yusuf of Kano State, Wole Olanipekun, says the Court of Appeal does not have the jurisdiction to correct the errors made in the recently delivered judgment on the Kano governorship election case.

Recall that the appellate court in Abuja affirmed the verdict of the State governorship election petition tribunal which sacked Yusuf, candidate of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP).

However, the Certified True Copy (CTC) of the judgment contained contradictory resolutions, with the judge ruling in favour of and against the Governor in the document.

Information Nigeria had reported that, Umar Bangari, Chief Registrar of the Court, said the discrepancy was a clerical error that did not affect the court’s decision.

Bangari said Order 23, Rule 4 of the court of appeal handbook “empowers the court to correct any clerical error once detected by the court or any of the parties in the matter.”

Reacting in a letter addressed to the court on Thursday, Olanipekun said the 60-day timeline allowed to hear and dispose off an appeal expired on November 18.

“Assuming without conceding that the judgment has some errors, whether typographical or otherwise, we humbly and dutifully draw your attention to the fact that the court of appeal became functus officio in the matter on Saturday, November 18, 2023.

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“Any application for correction of errors can only be entertained by the supreme court. Section 285(7) of the Constitution earlier referred to becomes very handy and imperative to the effect that the court of appeal cannot take any further step in the appeal or subject after the expiration of sixty (60) days,” the letter read.

The senior advocate said: “We are not aware that any of the parties has filed any application to correct any error.

“Even at that, judicial precedents are countless as to the procedure to follow, and which court has jurisdiction to take such an application, after the expiration of the sixty (60) days mandatorily benchmarked by the constitution.”

“Today is the seventh day, effective from Friday, November 17, 2023, since the delivery of the judgment of the court of appeal.

“We repeat that, out of the fourteen days mandatorily prescribed for our client to file his notice and grounds of appeal to the supreme court, he is left with just seven (7) days; and it is only fair that he should be allowed to exercise his constitutional right of appeal without any inhibition, within the fraction of days left for him.

“We reiterate that this response has been borne out of a compelling duty and responsibility to the administration of justice, and, as counsel, it is our responsibility to draw attention to these salient statutory imperatives,” Olanipekun added.