Friday, 14 April 2023

Why We Declared Tinubu Winner Of Presidential Election Without 25% Of FCT Votes — INEC Finally Opens Up

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has told the presidential election petitions tribunal that President-elect Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress won the February 25 election

and was validly returned as the winner without needing to get 25 per cent of the votes cast in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
INEC stated this in its reply by its lawyer, Abubakar Mahmoud, to the petition filed by the Peoples Democratic Party and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, before the tribunal.
Nigeria’s electoral umpire said the APC candidate met all the legal requirements to be so announced as the winner of the election, arguing that a candidate must not secure 25 per cent votes in the FCT to be declared winner because the FCT was not accorded any special status in the constitution as being “erroneously” portrayed by some political parties and candidates who lost the election.
On why it returned Tinubu as the winner, INEC said the APC candidate scored 25 per cent of the valid votes cast in 29 states of the federation.
“Having scored at least one-quarter of the valid votes cast in 29 states, which is over and above the 2/3 states threshold required by the constitution, in addition to scoring the majority of the lawful votes cast at the election, the second respondent was properly declared winner and returned as the president-elect of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” INEC explained, adding that Mr Tinubu, having scored 25 per cent of the valid votes cast in the 29 states, “has satisfied the requirement of the constitution to be declared winner of the presidential election, thus rendering the requirement of having 25 per cent of the valid votes cast in the Federal Capital Territory unnecessary.”
It also argued that the declaration and return of Mr Tinubu were not wrongful and were made in accordance with the provisions of section 134 (2) (b) of the Constitution, having scored one-quarter (25 per cent) of the valid votes cast in 29 states which is beyond the constitutional threshold for such declaration.

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