The victory of the All Progressives Congress (APC)’s candidate for the February 25 election, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu has continued to generate heated debate in the polity, weeks after the poll.
After the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared Tinubu, the winner of the 2023 presidential poll, Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP) vowed to challenge his victory…..CONTINUE READING
They claimed INEC’s decision was hasty and Tinubu was not the winner of the poll.
Interestingly, the major debate in the polity is that Tinubu was fortunately or unfortunately denied the required 25% votes in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), as required by the Constitution of Nigeria.
He is the first-ever president-elect in Nigerian history to score below 25% in the FCT. This puts a bold question mark not just on his popularity but also on his electability.
Reacting to this development, a Nigerian lawyer reveals if the 25% vote cast in the FCT is required to win a presidential election.
In a chat with Legit.ng on Tuesday, April 4, Barrister A.D. Rotimi George Esq., a member of the National Executive Council of Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), spoke widely on the matter and revealed what the Nigerian law says about it.
“The above question appears to be the concern or worry of many politically conscious Nigerians. For me and many others, the provisions of sections 133 and 134 of the constitution are very axiomatic in this regard as it relates to question bearing in mind tenets of the provision of section 134 (1) and its accompanying sections thereof which provides that:
“A candidate for an election to the office of the president shall be deemed to have been duly elected, where, being only two candidates for the election he:
a) has the majority of votes cast at the election and;
b) he has not less than one-quarter of the votes cast at the election in each of at least, two-thirds of all the states in the federation and the federal capital territory Abuja;
c) A candidate for an election to the office of the president shall be deemed to have been duly elected where, being more than 2 candidates for the election, he has the highest number of votes cast at the election and he has not less than one-quarter of the votes cast at the election in each of at least two-thirds of the states in the federation And the capital territory.
The conditions to be satisfied here are as follows and I shall attempt to simplify them herein below, to wit:
A candidate must as a matter of law, have the highest number of votes cast at the election;
Such candidate must also a matter of law, have not less than one-quarter of the votes cast at the election in each of at least, two-thirds of the states of the Federation;
Such a candidate must have the capacity to replete conditions 1 & 2 in the FCT.
“The above simply means that if conditions 1&2 are satisfied with, 3 must also be complied with to be declared “duly elected “ within the ambit of the law. For the purpose of information, these 3 conditions must be in place and satisfied by a candidate to be declared to have been duly elected.
“These provisions uses the conjunction AND meaning it is mandatory and compulsory, indispensable and not discretionary or excusable.”
Speaking further, the legal luminary revealed 25% of votes required in the FCT to win an election are not contained in Nigerian law. Barrister Rotimi noted thus:
“In furtherance, and within the parlance of mathematics; the 2/3rd of 36 has been interpreted to be 24. Since the law makes winning FCT a matter of compulsion, it appears and rightly so that a candidate for the highest office in the land must have won 25% of the lawful votes cast in all the states of the federation & FCT.
“As to if a presidential candidate must score 25% in FCT to be declared a winner; I am of the view that such conditions are not contained in our corpus juris. As such, extraneous interpretations not contemplated by the drafters of the law cannot be entertained at this point, more so when the matter is pending for the tribunal…..CONTINUE READING