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Election Petition

25% in FCT, residents ask court to stop Tinubu’s inauguration on May 29

Ahead of May 29 inauguration of the President-elect, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, five residents of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have asked the Abuja federal high court to stop the inauguration.

Abuja-City Gate. Credit: ThisDay
Abuja-City Gate. Credit: ThisDay

Ahead of May 29 inauguration of the President-elect, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, five residents of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have asked the Abuja federal high court to stop the inauguration.

The five persons include; Anyaegbunam Okoye, David Adzer, Jeffrey Ucheh, Osang Paul and Chibuike Nwanchukwu.

In the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/578/2023 filed on April 28, the persons sued the attorney-general of the federation (AGF) and the chief justice of Nigeria (CJN) for themselves and on behalf of the registered voters and residents of the FCT over the alleged 25 per cent requirement for a presidential candidate to be declared a winner.

They claimed Tinubu failed to secure at least 25 per cent of votes cast in the FCT.

According to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) was declared the winner of the presidential poll having scored the highest votes of 8,805,655 and secured victory in 12 states of Rivers, Borno, Jigawa, Zamfara, Benue, Kogi, Kwara, Niger, Ekiti, Ondo, Oyo,  and Ogun.

The plaintiffs are asking the court to determine “whether or not the person who is to be elected president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and consequently administrator of the FCT through the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory and the Federal Capital Territory Development Authority, on the first ballot is required by section 134(2)(b) of the Constitution to obtain at least 25% of the votes cast in the FCT”.

“Whether the plaintiffs and other residents and registered voters in the FCT Abuja would not be discriminated against if any state within the federal republic of Nigeria were substituted for the FCT.”

They continued that if the court answers “yes” to the questions of determination to pray that “no candidate in the February 25th 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 the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja”.

The plaintiffs also want the court to declare an extension of tenure for President Muhammadu Buhari pending when a successor is determined in accordance with the constitution.

They also asked the court to set aside INEC’s certificate of return issued to Tinubu and prevent the country’s chief judge and any other judicial officer from swearing in any candidate in the presidential election as president or vice-president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria until the issue is determined by the court.

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