UPDATE: Tinubu Doesn’t Have to Win 25 Percent in FCT – Tribunal
The Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal has declared that the Federal Capital Territory does not hold a higher status than other states in the country.
Justice Haruna Tsammani, the lead judge of the five-man panel, declared this during the tribunal’s ruling on Wednesday in Abuja.
According to him, Section 134 (1) and (2) of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria (as amended) stipulates that a presidential candidate must attain or score a majority of votes cast in a presidential election, where two or more candidates are involved, and at least 25% in two-thirds of the 36 States and FCT to meet the constitutional requirement to be declared winner.
He added that FCT is just another state that can be counted among the 24 states required.
“The argument of Labour Party’s lawyers that the 2nd Respondent ought not to be declared winner of the election because he scored less than 25 per cent votes in the FCT is fallacious and incredibly ridiculous.
“The FCT is no more than a state, for the purposes of calculating the votes in a Presidential election. Nothing more than that. The FCT is not superior to a state.
“The Constitution must always be construed in a way that it protects what it seeks to protect and guide what it seeks to guide.
“There is always a need for liberal consideration of Constitutional provisions,” the judge ruled.
Justice Tsammani therefore ruled that the claim by the Labour Party on the issue of 25 percent of FCT lacks merit.