Consider FCT 37th Nigerian state for presidential poll, Tinubu begs court

President Bola Tinubu, yesterday, prayed the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) sitting in Abuja to consider the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) as 37th state of the federation for the February 25 presidential election.

• Chimamanda joins Obi, Baba-Ahmed at tribunal
President Bola Tinubu, yesterday, prayed the Presidential Election Petition Court (PEPC) sitting in Abuja to consider the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) as 37th state of the federation for the February 25 presidential election.

Adopting his final written address, Tinubu, through his lead counsel, Chief Wole Olanipekun, submitted that FCT is the 37th state.

Referring to Section 134(2) b, which provides that a candidate contesting the post of president must score not less than one-quarter of votes in, at least, two-thirds of all states in the federation and FCT, he said Tinubu won one-third of two-third of votes in the FCT, qualifying him to be declared president.

The senior lawyer also submitted that there is a difference between transfer and transmit, noting that the I-Rev portal used by Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) played no role in collation of election results.

According to Olanipekun, all documents presented by Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, were merely dumped on the court, and it would be unfair to consider them.

Counsel to the petitioner, Chris Uche, however, insisted that securing 25 per cent of votes cast in the FCT is mandatory.

He said the technical glitch claimed by INEC was deliberate, to give room for manipulation of results in favour of Tinubu. According to him, the burden is on the electoral body to show why there was a technical glitch in a technology that cost Nigeria N355 billion.

PEPC reserved judgment till a date that would be communicated to the parties.

Also, award-winning author, Chimamanda Adichie, joined the presidential candidate of Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi, and his running mate, Datti Baba-Ahmed, at the court, yesterday.

Obi and Baba-Ahmed are challenging the victory of President Tinubu in the February 25, 2023 poll as declared by INEC.

The parties filed and exchanged their final written addresses, with the last being Tinubu’s reply on July 24 to the final written address by Atiku and the PDP.

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