WHY TINUBU MAY NOT BE SWORN IN DESPITE BEING DECLARED WINNER – EX- AGF
Michael Aondoakaa (SAN), a former minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), has said that a candidate must receive 25% of the votes cast in at least two-thirds of the 36 states and the federal capital territory (FCT) of Abuja in order to be declared the winner of a presidential election.
Aondoakaa spoke when he appeared as a guest on ARISE NEWS Channel programme, noting that this requirement had been the law and has not changed since the pronouncement of the Supreme Court in 2008.
He said that the current requirement to win an election is still in effect, as it was stated in the 2008 Supreme Court ruling.
He also said that the Constitution is clear when it mentions the necessary qualifications to be elected, and that this requirement has not changed since 1999.
There had been mixed reactions by lawyers on the issue since Wednesday when Tinubu was declared the winner of the February 25 presidential election by the INEC.
Tinubu was said to have secured 8,794,726 votes to defeat Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, who reportedly polled 6,984,520 votes, even as Peter Obi of the Labour Party, LP, scored 6,101,533 votes.
Tinubu and Atiku won 12 states each, while Obi won 11 states and the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, while Kwankwaso defeated the three only in Kano State.
Of the three leading presidential candidates, only Obi won the FCT, which is believed to be a very strong constitutional requirement to become the President of Nigeria.
Obi scored 281,987 votes or 62 per cent of the total votes cast in the FCT, while Tinubu scored 90,902 or 20 per cent.On his part, Atiku scored 73,743 votes, or 16 per cent of the total votes.
The 1999 Constitution, as amended, states that a presidential candidate must secure the highest number of votes cast at the election, it further added that the candidate must also secure not less than 25 per cent of the votes cast in at least two-thirds of all the states of the federation and the FCT.
Though Tinubu scored the highest number of votes cast at the election and also polled at least 25 per cent of the valid votes in at least 24 states in line with the Constitution, the former Lagos State governor did not secure 25 per cent in the FCT.
Specifically, Section 134 (2) states: “A candidate for an election to the Office of President shall be deemed to have been duly elected where, there being more than two candidates for the election: (a) he has the highest number of votes cast at the election; and (b) he has not less than one-quarter of the votes cast at the election in each of at least two-thirds of all the states in the federation and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.”
However, noting that the matter was already in court and, therefore, sub-judice, Aondoakaa recalled that the Supreme Court had in 2008 in a suit involving the current President, Muhammadu Buhari, and the then President, Alhaji Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, resolved the issue of the 25 per cent in 2/3 of the states of the federation and the FCT.
His words, “It’s a very difficult situation, but the matter has been interpreted before, around 2008, in a matter involving the current President.
“The pronouncement then was that the ‘and’ is used conjunctively; that was the interpretation then.
“Maybe the Supreme Court may have another look since it was a long time ago, but as of now, that is the interpretation.
“The interpretation was that the states and the Federal Capital Territory shall be construed conjunctively. In order words, you must get 25 per cent in 2/3 and 25 per cent in the FCT if you go by the interpretation of the Supreme Court in 2008.
“But I know the Supreme Court has a right to depart from his previous decisions if the justices of the case demand so.
“I don’t know if confronted with a similar situation they will follow their own decision or depart from it.”
Meanwhile, Prof. Ozekhome has faulted INEC for declaring Tinubu as the president-elect.
Quoting him, he stated: “When there are more than two candidates for an office, he stated: “A candidate for this office is considered to be duly elected if he has the largest number of votes cast in the election, and if he has not less than one-fourth of the votes, cast in elections in each of not less than two-thirds of all the states of the federation and the federal capital territory, Abuja.
Bola Ahmed Tinubu did not receive the required 25% of the vote in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), which means he should not have been elected president. This is because INEC, the electoral commission, erroneously awarded him the presidency.
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