The Presidential Elections Petitions Court (PEPC) on Wednesday dismissed a petition by the Labour Party (LP) and its presidential candidate, Peter Obi, against President Bola Tinubu that he failed to secure a mandatory 25 percent votes in the Federal Capital Territory to be declared winner in the February 25 Presidential election.
Justice Haruna Tsammani, who delivered the judgment on the substantive petition, ruled that FCT is like every other state in Nigeria, adding that it does not have any special privileges as the petitioners claimed.
Persecondnews recalls that during the 2023 presidential election, Peter Obi of LP had received over 25 percent of the votes polled in the FCT with Tinubu not scoring up to the required percentage.
This led to arguments and counter-arguments by the public, particularly legal experts, about Sections 134 (1) and (2) of Nigeria’s 1999 Constitution (as amended), which state that a presidential candidate must obtain or score a majority of votes cast in a presidential election involving two or more candidates, and at least 25% in two-thirds of 36 States and Federal Capital Territory (FCT) of Nigeria to meet the constitutional requirement to be declared as duly elected as President of Nigeria.
The PEPC also ruled that the petitioners failed to prove that President Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) was convicted for money laundering in the United States as it struck out the petitioner’s claim that Tinubu’s forfeiture of funds in the USA amounts to a conviction of a criminal act.
The tribunal insisted that Tinubu cannot be disqualified on the basis of his forfeiture of drug money in the United States.
According to the court, Tinubu was previously cleared by the Nigeria Police Force of any criminal issues in the U.S. which came through an enquiry the police had made to the U.S. law enforcement.
The court said Tinubu has been able to enter and exit the U.S., pointing out that it means he has no criminal case.
Also, the PEPC rejected the European Union (EU) Mission report on the last presidential election tendered by Obi and the Labour Party, arguing that it was not tendered by an official of the body.
The court held that the document was obtained by the petitioners from its Registry which was certified by its staff, who is not a person with original custody of the document that was produced by the EU mission.