Datti Baba-Ahmed, the vice-presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), says Bola Tinubu did not meet the constitutional requirements to become Nigeria’s president.
Speaking on Wednesday in an interview on Channels Television, Baba-Ahmed said Tinubu failed to fulfill the requirements stipulated in the section of the 1999 constitution (as amended) for election to the office of the president.
On March 1, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared Tinubu as the winner of the February 25 presidential election.
Tinubu, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), scored 8,794,726 votes and secured the 25 percent threshold of total votes in 30 states of the federation but failed to have the threshold in votes cast in the federal capital territory (FCT).
Section 134 (2) of the 1999 constitution says: “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.
The declaration of Tinubu as the President-elect despite not getting 25 percent of the votes cast in FCT has continued to generate debates.
Speaking on the development, Baba-Ahmed said swearing in Tinubu as president is “ending democracy” and a clear violation of the 1999 constitution.
He asked Olukayode Ariwoola, the chief justice of Nigeria (CJN), not to participate in the swearing-in of Tinubu as president over what he described as a “violation” of the constitution.
“Section 134 stipulates who should be declared and issued a certificate of return. It is only that candidate that has scored the highest number of votes and at least 25 percent each in at least two-thirds of the states of the federation and the FCT,” he said.
“Now, it is very clear that Tinubu does not have 25 percent in the FCT, we denied him. We got 61 percent. Atiku does not have 25 percent in the FCT. We denied both of them.
“By clear and unambiguous provisions of the Nigerian constitution, which must not be breached, Tinubu has not satisfied the requirement to be declared President-elect. Accordingly, there is no President-elect for Nigeria now. Because the declared one violates the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and I know what I’m saying.
“Swearing in a ticket that has not met the constitutional requirement is ending democracy. That is indeed the correct interpretation. You cannot swear in people who have not met the constitutional requirement. if you do it, you have done something unlawful and unconstitutional.
“Mr President, do not hold that inauguration. CJN, your lordship, do not participate in unconstitutionality. It is extreme and I’m saying it. It was more extreme for Yakubu to issue that certificate. It was reckless.”
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