Nigeria’s President-elect, Bola Tinubu, has stated that there is no exclusive obligation that a candidate must score 25 per cent in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to be returned president in an election,
Tinubu made his position known in a preliminary objection he filed against the petition by the Labour Party (LP) and its presidential candidate, Peter Obi, at the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal in Abuja, seeking the dismissal of the petition for failing to disclose any cause of action.
Labour Party and other parties challenging outcome of the February 25 presidential election, have contended that APC and Tinubu did not secure the 25 per cent of the total votes cast in the FCT “as mandatorily required” in Section 134(2)(b) of the Constitution of Nigeria, and was, therefore, ineligible to be declared.
Tinubu’s legal team led by Wole Olanipekun (SAN), argued that the Nigerian election is not based on the electoral college as it particularly relates to the FCT, adding that the residents are not super voters conferred with “any privilege or advantage that is not accorded to citizens of Nigeria of other communities, ethnic groups and places of origin.”
Olanipekun further noted that the territory was created by adjusting the boundaries and excising land from the neighbouring states of Kwara, Niger, Plateau and Kaduna states, etc.
“The petitioners themselves agree in their paragraph 25 that Nigeria is one single constituency for the purpose of the presidential election.
“Thus, no part of that single constituency is superior to the other or carries a special status requiring a minimum threshold of votes not mandated in others.”