“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.Obasanjo
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, has opined that the judgements of three or five members of election petition courts or Court of Appeal, should not overturn decisions made by millions of voters during an election.
Only last week, Dauda Lawal of Zamfara state, Abba Kabir Yusuf in Kano, and Caleb Mutfwang of Plateau state were sacked in separate judgments delivered by the judges of the Court of Appeal.
However, Obasanjo, who spoke in the wake of the ongoing judgments of the Court of Appeal, described the powers vested in the hands of a few judges as “totally unacceptable.”
Speaking at the high-level consultation on Rethinking Western Liberal Democracy in Africa, which held at Green Resort Legacy, Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library, Abeokuta, Ogun state, the former President faulted what he labeled “cathedral pronouncements” by the judges.
“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 10m on one side, maybe nine 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. 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.”