Only S’Court can correct judgment errors, Olanipekun replies A’Court

Counsel for the Kano State chapter of the New Nigeria Peoples Party, Wole Olanipekun (SAN), has said the Court of Appeal lacked the power to make changes to the Certified True Copies of its judgment.

Confusion had trailed the judgment of the court which sacked the state governor, Abba Yusuf, following the discrepancies between what was read out in the open court and the contents of the CTC of the judgment.

The Chief Registrar of the Appeal Court, Umar Bangari, stated on Wednesday that the mix-up in the CTC was a clerical error.

He, however, noted that 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 to a letter by the Deputy Chief Registrar addressed to his chambers, Olanipekun said only the apex court can hear any application for correction of errors.

It partly read, “Function of the Court: 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.

“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 60 days.

“We are not aware that any of the parties have applied 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 60 days mandatorily benchmarked by the Constitution.”

(Punch)

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