The President-elect, Bola Tinubu, has clarified that it is not mandatory for a candidate to attain 25% of the vote in the Federal Capital Territory in order to be declared the winner of a presidential election.
In a preliminary objection submitted to the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal in Abuja, Tinubu argued for the dismissal of the petition from the Labour Party (LP) and its presidential candidate, Peter Obi, as it failed to demonstrate a cause of action.
Most of the five political parties, including the LP, that are challenging the 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.
In his legal team’s response, led by Wole Olanipekun (SAN), Tinubu asserted that the Nigerian electoral system does not employ an electoral college in regards to the Federal Capital Territory, and that citizens of the FCT are not given any special privileges or advantages beyond those of citizens from other areas of Nigeria.
He 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.
He said, “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.”
In Nigeria, former Governor Tinubu argued that the United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division’s October 4, 1993 order to forfeit $460,000 from his Heritage Bank account, linked to narcotics and money laundering allegations in Case No 93C-4483, is not enforceable as the offense it addressed was not created by an Act of the Nigerian National Assembly.
“The case of the petitioners, as pleaded, has not disclosed any disqualifying factor as prescribed by Section 137 (1) (d) and (e) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended),” he said.