Former President of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, Olisa Agbakoba, has given two reasons why the declaration of Bola Tinubu as the winner of the February 25 presidential election cannot stand.
Agbakoba who was speaking on Arise TV on Wednesday morning listed section 134(2) of the Nigerian constitution, which provides the conditions to be met before one is declared a winner of a presidential election and section 35 of the Electoral Act 2022 as amended which forbids candidates from contesting two positions in an election.
He explained that the two positions are very clear and unambiguous and do not require lengthy time or argument for the tribunal to decide cases brought before them.
“134 (2); It applies literally, because the rule of interpretation says if you read something and it’s so clear to you, then you don’t need to interpret it.
“The thing says you must win a quarter of the votes in ⅔ of 36 states AND the…and then what do you want to say? The answer is obvious.”
When pressed by the presenter to break it down, he said, “I have just broken it down.
“Reuben (Abati), I have broken it down. You want to put words in my mouth, which I won’t accept.
“It’s so simple, you get a quarter of the votes in ⅔ of 24 states. That’s what the law says, which is 24. So that’s one part of it.
“It goes on to say, ‘AND’. What does that mean? ‘AND the FCT’.
“So as far as I am concerned, you must also win 25% in the FCT.
“But that’s not for me to say because I would be pre-judging what’s before the tribunal.
“So we think the tribunal can answer this question quite easily in one hour. That’s my point. Quite easily, it’s not a difficult question to resolve,” he said.
Agbakoba had before the general elections written to INEC to clarify its position on the true interpretation of the section.
The constitutional provision says “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 –
“he has the majority of votes cast at the election; and
“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.