Tinubu Never Convicted, Doesn’t Need 25% Of FCT 

In a pivotal ruling on Wednesday, September 6, 2023, the Presidential Election Petitions Court (PEPC), situated in Abuja, dismantled the arguments presented by the Labour Party (LP) and its presidential candidate, Peter Obi, seeking to unseat President Bola Tinubu

The court emphatically declared that President Tinubu had not been convicted in the United States and that the requirement to win 25% of the votes in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) was not a constitutional prerequisite to assume the presidency.

The five-member panel, presided over by Justice Haruna Tsammani, delivered this crucial judgment. Justice Tsammani asserted that the petitioners, LP and Obi, failed to establish any record of criminal arrest or conviction against President Tinubu.

Furthermore, the court firmly stated that Tinubu’s candidacy in the February 25, 2023, presidential election could not be disqualified based on allegations of forfeiting $460,000 believed to be proceeds of drug trafficking in the United States.

Beyond addressing the issue of conviction, the PEPC clarified that achieving a 25% vote share was not mandated by the Nigerian constitution to secure the presidency.

 This decision debunked the notion that the FCT held a unique position in electoral matters, asserting that voters in Abuja were equivalent to voters in any other Nigerian state.

Previously, both the Labour Party (LP) and the PDP presidential candidates contended that the constitution required a candidate to win two-thirds of the states and the FCT to be declared the presidential election winner. However, the PEPC’s verdict countered this interpretation.

Before these determinations, the PEPC had also dismissed Peter Obi’s claims of widespread election rigging during the February 25, 2023, election that ushered in President Bola Tinubu. 

The court found Obi’s allegations to be vague and lacking in specific examples, rendering them unproven, much like the assertion that President Tinubu was not convicted in the USA.


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