Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has queried that it is not normal that few judges will be upturning the decisions made by millions of voters during elections.
Obasanjo described the powers vested in the hands of a few judges as “totally unacceptable.”
The former President spoke at the ongoing judgements of the Court of Appeal on the electoral disputes arising from the 2023 elections in Nigeria.
Recently, three governors were sacked in separate judgements delivered by the judges of the Court of Appeal.
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The affected governors are Dauda Lawal of Zamfara State, Abba Kabir Yusuf in Kano, and Caleb Mutfwang of Plateau State.
The decisions have sparked reactions from Nigerians who said they have lost hope in the judiciary, especially when the affected governors are of the opposition parties.
Speaking at the high-level consultation on Rethinking Western Liberal Democracy in Africa held at Green Resort Legacy, Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library, Abeokuta, Ogun State, Obasanjo faulted what he labelled “cathedral pronouncements” by the judges.
Obasanjo stated: “I believe whatever form of democracy we have or whatever system of government we have, three or four men in the judiciary should not be able to overturn the decisions of millions that have voted. Now, we have to find a way to handle that. I don’t know what the way will be, but I think it’s totally unacceptable that millions (of votes), maybe 10 million on one side, maybe 9 million on the other side. Then, you have five people sitting down: three agree, two disagree. And you come up and make cathedra pronouncements that cannot be changed. I believe that should not be accepted.
How do we do it? I don’t know. But whatever form of democracy we have, we should look at how to handle this. If you say, ‘go again for election,’ then what happened to the previous election will repeat itself? I don’t know.
“So, I feel strongly about. It does not matter what you say about the judiciary, but only five people or seven will sit down. If there are five, three may agree, two may not agree, and the decision of three will be final. All that you have done decides three or four.”