Renowned Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Femi Falana, has called for the complete elimination of judges’ involvement in Nigeria’s electoral processes, asserting that the electorate should determine their leaders without interference from a select few.
Speaking on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics programme, he stressed the need to review recent appellate court judgments sacking Governors Abba Yusuf of Kano State and Caleb Mutfwang of Plateau State.
He attributed these decisions to the alleged failure of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in conducting proper elections.
He expressed concern over the nullification of votes by the courts, citing INEC’s negligence in clearing candidates without proper primaries and the failure to stamp ballot sheets.
Falana argued that such issues should not undermine the collective voice of the Nigerian people.
Highlighting the recent appellate court rulings that ousted three opposition party governors declared winners in the March 2023 poll, Falana specifically criticized the involvement of judges in electoral matters.
The affected governors include Abba Yusuf of the New Nigerian Peoples Party (NNPP), Dauda Lawal of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Zamfara, and Caleb Mutfwang.
The court’s decisions led to the declaration of APC candidates Nasir Gawuna, Bello Matawalle, and Nentawe Goshwe as winners in Kano, Zamfara, and Plateau states, respectively.
In Zamfara, an inconclusive election prompted a fresh poll order in three local government areas.
However, the appellate court upheld the election of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of the APC in Lagos State.
Commenting on the judgments of the appellate court, Falana criticized INEC for a lack of due diligence before and during the elections.