- All votes cast or recorded in any part of the country are equal.
- FCT has been interpreted to be the 37th state in Nigeria for the purpose of the constitution.
- Peter Obi of the Labour Party won FCT during the Presidential elections.
Femi Falana, SAN, a Human rights activist and lawyer disclosed that all votes recorded in any part of Nigeria are equal.
He added that the law mandates that candidates must score a majority of lawful votes; the second is territorial spread, a two-thirds majority of the states and the Federal Capital Territory.
He disclosed this in an interview with Channels TV on Sunday evening, adding that the law interprets FCT as 37th states.
Falana stated that f the Constitution explicitly requires a winner of a presidential election to meet specific requirements. The first one is to score the majority of lawful votes and the second is territorial spread, he said:
- “I had expressed an opinion on section 134 of the Constitution on the 23rd of January this year – that is about a month before the presidential election.
- “ On that occasion, I expressed a legal opinion and that is why I was very hesitant to join the bandwagon when lawyers started to give political interpretations of that section.
- “I did state that there is no electoral college in Nigeria and therefore the votes cast or recorded in any part of the country are equal.
- “Section 134 of the Constitution specifically requires a winner of a presidential election to meet certain requirements. The first one is to score the majority of lawful votes and the second is territorial spread, a two-thirds majority of the states and the Federal Capital Territory.
He added the law sees the Federal capital territory as Nigeria’s 37th state but urges caution as the election results head to a tribunal, he said:
- “And since the FCT has been interpreted to be a 37th state in Nigeria for the purpose of the constitution I didn’t see any controversy at the material time and that was when I expressed my opinion.
- “But now that it has become a serious legal issue and the matter is now pending in court, I am very reluctant to speak definitively on the section because there are decisions of the court on the status of Abuja.”
In case you missed it
The Court of Appeal in Abuja granted permission to the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, to serve his petition to President-elect Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
The court granted the leave on Friday in the appeal filed by Obi challenging the Victory of Tinubu at the February 25, presidential election.
A three-member panel of the appellate court led by Haruna Tsammani, granted Obi’s request to serve Tinubu through substituted means instead of personal service.
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