25% saga: FCT residents want court to extend Buhari’s tenure


 

As legal fireworks continue over the emergence of Nigeria’s President-elect, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, some residents of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, have asked the Abuja Federal High Court to extend President Muhammadu Buhari’s tenure and stop Tinubu’s inauguration over failure to secure 25 per cent votes in the nation’s capital.

In a suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/578/2023, the plaintiffs applied for an order, restraining “the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, other judicial officer and any authority from swearing in any candidate as President or Vice-President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, until it is judicially determined in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution that such candidate has fulfilled the requirement of Section 134(2) (b) of the Constitution.”

According to the suit, “the plaintiffs and other FCT residents have a legal interest and constitutional rights to be heard on the question of whether a President elect must secure at least 25 per cent of votes cast, on the first ballot, in the FCT, Abuja.

“Among other prayers, FCT residents want the court to extend the tenure of President Buhari until the controversies surrounding his successor in the 2023 general election is determined.

“A declaration that no state of the country is at the same time the FCT for any purpose whatsoever, including, in particular, under section 134 (2) (b) of the Constitution.

“A declaration that no candidate in the February 25th presidential election may validly be declared elected President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria without obtaining at least 25% of the votes cast in the FCT, Abuja.

“A declaration that following the February 25 presidential election and until a successor is determined in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution and sworn in, the term of office of his Excellency, Muhammadu Buhari, GCON, as President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria subsists and endures in accordance with the provisions of section 135 (1) (a) of the Constitution.”

Also, “An order setting aside any declaration and issuance of a Certificate of Return to any candidate in the February 25 presidential election in the country as having been elected, save and except it is judicially determined with finality that such candidate fulfilled the conditions stated in section 134(2) (b) of the Nigeria Constitution.”

The CJN and Attorney General of the Federation were cited in the suit as 1st and 2nd defendants.

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