Tribunal to Obi: Tinubu winning 25% of FCT votes not compulsory

THE Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC), currently delivering judgment in a case filed By Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP) against the victory of President Bola Tinubu at the February 25 election, has said no candidate needs to secure 25 per cent of votes cast in the FCT to be declared President.

Haruna Tsammani, who led the five-man panel, said Abuja is at par with every other state in Nigeria, and there are no special voters anywhere in the country.

The Court ruled that the FCT does not enjoy special privileges ahead of other states and dismissed that part of Obi’s suit.

On the method of transmission of election results, the panel stated that INEC is free to specify the mode it plans to utilise when transmitting election results in accordance with Sections 52 and 65 of the Electoral Act, INEC.

“By the provision of Section 52 and Section 65 of the Electoral Act, INEC is at liberty to prescribe the manner in which result can be transmitted. INEC cannot be compelled to electronically transmit result,” the Court stated.

The ICIR had earlier reported that the Court said Obi did not show how he secured the majority of lawful votes in the February 25 election.

Justice of the Appeal Court Abba Mohammed, a member of the five-man panel delivering judgment on the petition, gave the ruling during the proceedings on Wednesday, September 6.

“They failed to state the number of votes affected and the number of people disenfranchised. The law is very clear that where someone alleged irregularities in a particular polling unit, such a person must prove the particular irregularities in that polling unit for him to succeed in his petition. The determination of election is about figures,” he said.

Mohammed also said that Obi’s party did not prove over-voting allegations against the All Progressives Congress (APC), the platform on which Tinubu contested the election.




     

     

    Obi is challenging President Tinubu’s declaration as the February 25 election winner.

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    His is also joined by the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Atiku Abubakar, and the Allied Peoples Movement (APM).

    The Court had earlier struck out the APM’s petition.

    The case is still ongoing at the PEPC and has not been concluded as of the time of filing this report.

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