Former President Olusegun Obasanjo yesterday queried the propriety of three to five judges overturning the decisions made by millions of voters during an election, saying it is unacceptable.
Obasanjo made this comment at the high-level consultation on Rethinking Western Liberal Democracy in Africa, held at Green Resort Legacy, Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library, Abeokuta, Ogun State. He faulted what he labelled “cathedral pronouncements” by the judges. LEADERSHIP reports that the former Nigerian president was tacitly reacting to the ongoing judgements of the Court of Appeal on the electoral disputes arising from 2023 elections in Nigeria, which has led to the sacking of three opposition governors in the last one week.
The affected governors are Dauda Lawal of Zamfara State, Abba Kabir Yusuf in Kano State, and Caleb Mutfwang of Plateau State. The Zamfara and Plateau state governors are Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) members while the Kano State governor is of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP). According to the former president, the powers vested in the few judges is “totally unacceptable”, even as he cautioned political leaders on the dangers of injustice if the trend is not reversed by the Supreme Court.
“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, 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.”