Judiciary not to blame for Nigeria’s electoral woes – SAN


By Athan Agbakwuru, Owerri

Against the backdrop of mixed reactions over alleged interference of judiciary in deciding the outcome of elections in Nigeria, Barr. Ngozi Chido Olehi SAN, has posited that the electorate rather than the judiciary should be blamed for the nation’s recent electoral misadventures.

Olehi attributed the electoral lapses which often give room for emergence of some questionable characters as political leaders to the gullibility, naivity and indecision of the electorate to root for the most credible leaders and stand by them.

The newly elevated SAN made the assertion during chat with newsmen in Owerri after a thanksgiving service and grand reception at the Rockview Hotel stated that the actions and inactions of the electorate leave the judiciary with no option than to render judgement “based on the available evidence before it.”

He said, “Because the judges are not God to have known what transpired at various places of election,

how can they be blamed for failure of aggrieved parties prove their cases beyond reasonable doubt before the Court or tribunal.

“I want to set the records straight. It’s the electorate that should be blamed for electing the wrong leaders, and not the judiciary as so many people have come to believe. The judiciary is not God to have been able to know what is going on during an election.

“You should know that the judiciary comes into play whenever an election wrongly declared is being pursued by aggrieved opponents. Ordinarily, the Judicial arm of government may have no stake in any election conducted free, fair and credible.

“I expect the voters or electorates to vote the people of their choice and be able to protect their votes by probably getting the actual figures at every polling unit as evidence to pursue their matters in court. But unfortunately, what you see during elections is a situation where everybody is looking for where money is shared and votes are given freely in lieu of peanuts.

“If the electorates can come up with a strong case with powerful evidence of an election that is wrongly declared, the judiciary should not be blamed if justice is not allowed to prevail. The judiciary deals on available evidence, and not the feelings of the people.”