Five residents of the federal capital territory (FCT) have sued the attorney-general of the federation (AGF) and the chief justice of Nigeria (CJN) over the inauguration of Bola Tinubu as the nation’s president.
Tinubu, the standard bearer of the All Progressives Congress (APC), was declared the February 25 presidential poll winner with 8,794,726 votes.
However, the plaintiffs aver that Tinubu failed to secure at least 25 percent of votes cast in the FCT.
The suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/578/2023 was filed before the federal high court in Abuja on April 28.
The plaintiffs — Anyaegbunam Okoye, David Adzer, Jeffrey Ucheh Osang Paul and Chibuike Nwanchukwu — sued for themselves and on behalf of other residents and registered voters in the FCT.
They are asking the court to determine “whether or not the person who is to be elected president of the federal republic of Nigeria, and consequently administrator of the FCT through the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory and the Federal Capital Territory Development Authority, on the first ballot is required by section 134(2)(b) of the Constitution to obtain at least 25% of the votes cast in the FCT”.
“Whether the plaintiffs and other residents and registered voters in the FCT Abuja would not be discriminated against if any state within the federal republic of Nigeria were substituted for the FCT.”
Should the questions for determination be answered in the affirmative, the plaintiffs are praying for a declaration that “no candidate in the February 25th presidential election may validly be sworn in as president and commander in chief of the armed forces of the federal republic of Nigeria without such candidate having obtained 25% of the votes cast in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja”.
The plaintiffs also want a declaration extending President Muhammadu Buhari’s tenure pending when a successor is determined in accordance with the constitution.
They want the court to set aside the certificate of return issued to Tinubu and restrain the CJN and any other judicial officer from swearing in any candidate in the presidential election as president or vice-president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria until the issue is determined in court.
Meanwhile, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said a candidate must not secure 25 percent of the votes in the FCT to be declared winner because the FCT was not accorded any special status in the constitution as being “erroneously” portrayed.