Atiku vs Tinubu: 25% of FCT votes not needed to win presidential election, says INEC


The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)
says  Atiku Abubakar, candidate of the
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), did not meet the constitutional requirement to
be declared winner of the February 25 presidential election.


Bola Tinubu, the standard bearer of the All Progressives
Congress (APC), was declared the winner of the presidential poll with 8,794,726


Atiku polled 6,984,520, votes and Peter Obi of the Labour
Party (LP) came third with 6,101,533.


Challenging Tinubu’s victory in the petition marked
CA/PEPC/05/2023, Atiku and the PDP claimed that Tinubu was not qualified to
contest the election.


 “The 2nd respondent
(Tinubu) was not duly elected by the majority of lawful votes cast at the
election,” the petition reads.


“The 2nd respondent was at the time of the election not
qualified to contest the election.”


The PDP candidate wants the tribunal to nullify Tinubu’s
victory and withdraw the certificate of return issued to him.


In a preliminary objection filed on Tuesday, INEC urged the
tribunal to dismiss the petition by Atiku and his party.


“The first petitioner (Atiku), failed to score, at least,
one-quarter of the votes cast in at least two-thirds of the 36 states of the
federation and the federal capital territory (FCT) and as such could not have
been declared the winner,” INEC said


“The election was conducted in substantial compliance with
the Electoral Act 2022 and was not marred by any corrupt practices.”




INEC submitted that the APC candidate met all the legal
requirements to be so announced as the winner of the election, adding that a
candidate must not secure 25 per cent votes in the FCT to be declared winner
because the FCT was not accorded any special status in the constitution as
being “erroneously” portrayed by some political parties and candidates who lost
the election.


“Having scored at least one-quarter of the valid votes cast
in 29 states, which is over and above the 2/3 states threshold required by the
constitution, in addition to scoring the majority of the lawful votes cast at the
election, the second respondent was properly declared the winner and returned
as the president-elect of the federal republic of Nigeria,” the commission


“The second respondent, having scored 25 per cent of the
valid votes cast in the 29 states, has satisfied the requirement of the
constitution to be declared winner of the presidential election, thus rendering
the requirement of having 25 per cent of the valid votes cast in the FCT


“The declaration and return of the second respondent were
not wrongful and was made in accordance with the provisions of Section 134 (2)
(b) of the Constitution, the second respondent having scored one quarter (25
per cent) of the valid votes cast in 29 states which are beyond the
constitutional threshold for such declaration.


INEC submitted that scoring 25 per cent of the votes cast in
the federal capital territory is not a “condition precedent to the declaration
and return of a candidate in the presidential election.”


“The provisions of the constitution apply to FCT as if it
were one of the states of the federation and the use of the word ‘and’ in
Section 134 (2) of the constitution indicates nothing more than that in
construing two-thirds of the states of the federation in which a candidate is
required to score one-quarter of the votes cast.


INEC said FCT “has the status of a state and ought to be
recognised as if were a state of the federation”.


“The FCT is regarded as the 37th state of the federation and
as such, a candidate needs to score 25 per cent of the valid votes cast in at
least two-thirds of 37 states (to be declared as winner in the presidential


Related posts

Start Chat
Chat With DJ Gambit
How Can I help You?
%d bloggers like this: