A Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, has called on politicians to learn to accept defeat during electoral contests rather than always trying to maneuver their ways to leadership through the judiciary.
He warned that if courts continue to choose leaders for the people, elections will soon become irrelevant as more politicians would explore the judiciary to impose themselves on the people.
“In my own counsel, both judges and politicians, we should allow people to choose their leaders so we have less governors declared by the courts, less of legislators, less of councillors declared by the courts.
“Otherwise, everybody will seek to use that as a means to upturn the will of the people (and) election then becomes irrelevant in a choice of democracy and that is really unacceptable,” Adegboruwa said on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily programme on Tuesday.
Many past and present governors in Nigeria came into power through court judgement overturning the declaration of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). Some of the governors include Hope Uzodimma of Imo State and Duoye Diri of Bayelsa State.
Asked if the Electoral Act has addressed the indiscriminate manner leaders are decided through the courts, the SAN said there are still a lot of ambiguities in the Electoral Act and called for its review after the 2023 elections.
“I think it is important for the National Assembly by now to take a second look at the Electoral Act. Yes, it is commendable, that it is an improvement upon the old one but the ambiguities created in several sections of the electoral act is enough to give us cause for concern about what we will probably witness in 2023 and beyond that period.
“But it’s probably too late now to amend the current Electoral Act before the 2023 elections because it will cause a lot of disruptions but immediately after the 2023 elections it will be important to review the electoral act and rework it,” Adegboruwa said.
The Chief Justice of the Federation (CJN), Justice Olukayode Ariwoola on Monday sworn in members of the Election Petition Tribunal for the 2023 general elections in Abuja and warned them against any form of judicial recklessness.
On his part, Adegboruwa also urged members of the Tribunal to discharge their duties according to the laid down ethics of the profession.