Former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, has criticised the rulings of the Court of Appeal sacking elected state governors, saying that three to five judges should not overturn decisions made by millions of voters during an election.
Obasanjo, who said this while reacting to the ongoing proceedings and verdicts of the Court on various electoral disputes arising from the 2023 elections in the country, described the powers vested in the hands of a few judges as “totally unacceptable.”
Only last week, three governors were sacked in separate judgements delivered by the judges of the Court of Appeal.
The former President’s reaction came as governors Dauda Lawal of Zamfara State, Abba Kabir Yusuf of Kano State and Caleb Mutfwang of Plateau State were recently sacked by the Appeal Court amid controversies and criticisms by Nigerians, especially from the opposition political parties.
Obasanjo who 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 capital, faulted what he tagged “cathedral pronouncements” by the judges.
According to Daily Trust, he 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 10million on one side, maybe 9million 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. It does not matter what you say about the judiciary, but in fact only five people or seven will sit down. If they 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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