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Fact file: Court established 25% in FCT mandatory to win presidential election in Buhari vs Obasanjo

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Fact file: Court established 25% in FCT mandatory to win presidential election in Buhari vs Obasanjo

 

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The latest evidence arose from another scrutiny of the Supreme Court ruling in the case between Muhammadu Buhari, the then candidate of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), and Olusegun Obasanjo, the then Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) candidate, on Friday, July 15, 2005, by Mr. Dokun Ojomo.

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According to Mr. Ojomo, in the ruling, the apex court had upheld that presidential candidates must win 25 per cent of all votes cast in 24 states, as well as the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

Commenting on the outcome of the 2003 Presidential Election Petition Tribunal (PEPT) and the 25% in FCT saga, Ojomo wrote:
“After the 2003 elections, Buhari called for the cancellation of the election since Obasanjo failed to win in FCT but it was resolved that winning the FCT is not mandatory but having 25% in FCT is very mandatory”.

“President Obasanjo back then satisfied the basic requirements of 25% in 24 States AND 25% in FCT also having the highest number of total valid votes cast”.

“It was also stated that if there was no election in Abuja or election in Abuja was canceled, the election will automatically go into re-run regardless of satisfying other requirements which validated the importance & exceptional factor of FCT in our constitution”

“It was established in 2003 by those justices that 25% in FCT is as mandatory as having highest number of total valid vote cast to win an election in Nigeria.”

He noted that the Justices that resolved the FCT case between Obasanjo and Buhari were Justice Mohammed Lawal, Justice Idris kutigi, Justice Denis Edozie, Justice Sam Odemwingie, Justice Aloysius Iyorgyer, Justice Umaru Kalgo, and Justice Ignatius Chukwudi.

In its publication on April 12, 2023, News Band had reported more clarity regarding the correct interpretation of ‘the 25 per cent of all votes cast’ in the Federal Capital Territory.

In the Supreme Court ruling, the apex court had upheld that presidential candidates must win 25 per cent of all votes cast in 24 states, and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

One of the cruxes of the matter for determination in Buhari v. Obasanjo [2005] was Section 134(1 & 2) of the Constitution which said:

“(1) A candidate for an election to the office of President shall be deemed to have been duly elected, where, there being only two candidates for the election:

(a) he has the majority 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.

“(2) 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: (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.”

 

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