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Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Tinubu Warns Presidential Election Tribunal of ‘Anarchy’ If 25% FCT Law is Upheld

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ABUJA, Nigeria – President Bola Tinubu of Nigeria has warned the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal that misinterpretation of the law regarding lawful votes cast in the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Abuja, could lead to “absurdity, chaos, anarchy, and alteration of the very intention of the legislature.”

In his final written address against two petitions seeking the nullification of his election victory, Tinubu stated that the claims by the candidates of the Labour Party, LP, Mr. Peter Obi, and his Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, counterpart, Atiku Abubakar, were “novel” and inconsistent with Nigeria’s electoral laws.

The president further stated that his opponents failed to substantiate their allegations of non-compliance, thereby validating his vote count of 8,800,369.

Both Atiku and Obi, along with their respective parties, challenged the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, for declaring Tinubu and the All Progressives Congress, APC, the presidential election winners.

Among their demands was the nullification of Tinubu’s election because INEC did not substantially comply with the guidelines and regulations for the conduct of the 2023 election and relevant electoral laws.

In addition to challenging the figures, which they claim were inaccurately presented while the collation of results was still ongoing, the petitioners contended that Tinubu had not won the election, having failed to secure 25% of the lawful votes cast in the FCT.

Further, the petitioners argued for Tinubu’s disqualification based on an alleged U.S. District Court judgment ordering the forfeiture of $460,000 suspected to be proceeds from drug trafficking.

They also claimed Shettima had a double nomination issue, as he was a senatorial candidate for the APC in the Borno Central senatorial district election conducted simultaneously with the presidential poll.

However, in his final written address, Tinubu, along with the APC, asked the court to dismiss the petitions on the grounds that they were not consistent with the country’s electoral laws.

“The petition in issue in this address is very novel… the petitioners are not, this time around, complaining about election rigging… The crux of their grouse this time around is that while the presidential election was peacefully conducted all over the country and the results accurately recorded in the various Form EC8As, some unidentified results were not uploaded electronically to the INEC Election Result Viewing, IREV, Portal,” said Chief Wole Olanipekun, SAN, counsel to Tinubu, in his final address.

As the country awaits the court’s verdict, it is evident that the fallout from the 2023 presidential elections continues to have significant implications on Nigeria’s political landscape.

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