Argument for compulsory 25% in FCT to win presidential election ridiculous - PEPC

Peter Obi

Peter Obi of Labour Party: His argument that winner of Presidential election must win 25% in FCT is described as ridiculous by the Court

The Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) on Wednesday in Abuja said the argument that a candidate must win 25 per cent of votes cast in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja to win a presidential election in the country is fallacious and ridiculous.

Delivering the lead judgment in the petition filed by Mr Peter Obi and the Labour Party against the victory of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu in the 2023 Elections, Justice Haruna Tsammani said that scoring 25 per cent was not constitutionally required.

According to Tsammani, the petitioner’s interpretation of Section 134 (2) (b) of the 1999 Constitution was based on a fixation on the word ‘and’ and “this is completely fallacious if not outrightly ridiculous”.

Justice Tsammani held that there was equality of rights irrespective of which part of the country voters preferred to live in.

“Every citizen must have equality of rights and this includes votes.

“The futility and hollowness in the arguments of the petitioners that the votes of the voters in the FCT have more weight than others in other parts of the country to the extent that their votes purportedly have a greater effect on other votes is null and void,” the court held.

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He said that insistence that Tinubu must win 25 per cent of votes in the FCT a parochial interpretation of section 134(2) of the Nigerian constitution and also fallacious

The court held that the votes of voters in the FCT were equal to every other voter in the remaining states of Nigeria.

He maintained that Abuja had no special status.

Mr Peter Obi and the Labour Party (LP) had submitted that winning 25 per cent of votes in the FCT in addition to meeting other requirements, was necessary for being declared winner in a presidential election.

Obi’s petition against the winner has been thrown out.

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