New Telegraph

February 26, 2024

A’Court Judgments: ‘It’s Unacceptable For 3 Judges To Upturn Millions Of Voters’ Decision’ – Obasanjo

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has faulted the verdicts of the Nigerian judges on the electoral matters, insisting that, three to five judges should not overturn decisions made by millions of voters during an election.

Obasanjo said it was totally unacceptable for three to five people (judges) to decide the fate of millions of voters.

The former President spoke in the wake of the ongoing judgments of the Court of Appeal on the electoral disputes arising from the 2023 elections in Nigeria.

Only last week, three governors were sacked in separate judgements delivered by the judges of the Court of Appeal.

The affected governors are, Dauda Lawal of Zamfara State, Abba Kabir Yusuf in Kano, and Caleb Mutfwang of Plateau State.

The decisions have triggered reactions, earning the judiciary more knocks than kudos.

But, reacting to this, Obasanjo described the powers vested in the hands of a few judges as “totally unacceptable.”

The former President spoke at the high-level consultation on Rethinking Western Liberal Democracy in Africa held at Green Resort Legacy, Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library, Abeokuta, Ogun State, on Monday.

Obasanjo described decisions of the courts as “cathedral pronouncements” by the judges.

Obasanjo said “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, for me, 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 of them agree, and two disagree. And you come up and make cathedral 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? I don’t know.

“So, I personally feel strongly about. It does not matter what you say about the judiciary, but in fact 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 comes to the decision of three or decision of four.”

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