25%: FCT residents ask court to stop Tinubu’s inauguration, extend Buhari’s tenure

FIVE residents of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have asked the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja to stop the inauguration of Bola Tinubu as Nigeria’s President on May 29.

The five applicants who declared themselves as FCT registered voters –  Jeffery Ucheh, Osang Paul Anyaegbunam Okoye, Chibuike Nwachukwu and David Adzer – said Tinubu should not be sworn in as President for failing to secure up to 25 per cent votes in the FCT during the presidential election.

They said Tinubu’s failure to secure 25 per cent in the nation’s capital is a valid reason to stop his inauguration.

They are also asking for an extension of the tenure of President Muhammadu Buhari pending the determination of the petitions before the Presidential Election Petition Court.

The complainants, in a suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/578/2023, applied for an order depriving “the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, any other judicial officer and/or any other authority or person from swearing in any candidate in the February 25 presidential election as President or Vice-President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, until it is judicially determined with finality or in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution that such candidate has fulfilled the requirement of Section 134(2) (b) of the Constitution”.

In addition, they want the court to determine if “the plaintiffs and other FCT residents have a legal interest and constitutional rights to be heard on the question of whether a President-elect must secure at least 25% of votes cast, on the first ballot, in the FCT, Abuja”.

The reliefs sought by the applicants include: “A declaration that no state of the country is at the same time the FCT for any propose whatsoever, including, in particular, under section 134 (2) (b) of the Constitution.

“A declaration that no candidate in the February 25 presidential election may validly be sworn in as President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, without such candidate having obtained 25% of the votes cast in FCT, Abuja.

“A declaration that following the February 25 presidential election and until a successor is determined in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution and sworn in, the term of office of His Excellency Muhammadu Buhari, GCON, as President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria subsist and endures in accordance with the provisions of section 135 (1) (a) of the Constitution”.

They equally asked the court for “An order setting aside or suspending any declaration and/or issuance of a Certificate of a Return to any candidate in the February 25 presidential election in the country as having been elected, save and except it is judicially determined with finality that such candidate fulfilled the conditions stated in section 134(2) (b) of the Constitution”.

The Attorney-General of the Federation and the CJN were cited as 1st and 2nd defendants, respectively.

The Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) on Monday, May 8 commenced hearing in the petitions filed against the declaration of Tinubu as the winner of the presidential election.

Justice Haruna Simon Tsammani is leading the panel of Justices. Others on the panel are Justice Moses Ugo, Justice Bolaji-Yusuf, Justice Stephen Adah and Justice Abbah Mohammed.

On Monday, May 8, during the first pre-hearing sitting of the tribunal, the Action Alliance (AA) withdrew its petition against Tinubu’s election without giving any reasons for the decision.

The Action Peoples Party (APP) later withdrew its own petition on Wednesday, May 10.

In his inaugural speech, Justice Tsammani assured parties that justice will be done.

He urged counsels to cooperate with the tribunal to ensure that the petitions are decided speedily.






     

     

    INEC had, on Wednesday, March 1, declared the candidate of APC, Bola Tinubu, winner of the presidential election.

    INEC chairman Mahmood Yakubu announced that Tinubu won with 8,794,726 votes, followed by Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) with 6,984,520 votes. Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP) followed closely with 6,101,533 votes, according to the result released by INEC.

    The Labour Party and PDP have since challenged the declaration. 

    In one of its petition grounds, the LP asks the Court to determine if Tinubu can be sworn in as President after failing to get 25 per cent votes in the FCT. 

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