A Federal High Court in Abuja has dismissed a lawsuit challenging the election of President Bola Tinubu on the grounds that he did not receive the required 25 per cent of votes in the Federal Capital Territory of Abuja to qualify as President-Elect.
The court ruled that the high court lacked jurisdiction to hear the case presented by five Abuja residents seeking to halt Tinubu’s inauguration.
Inyang Ekwo, the presiding justice, rejected the plaintiffs’ argument that a president-elect must receive at least 25 per cent of votes from the federal capital territory. He then dismissed the case on the grounds that the plaintiffs lacked standing to sue, as the presidential election petition tribunal, not the supreme court, should have heard their case.
Ekwo subsequently ordered the resident’s attorney to pay N10 million to the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN).
Anyaegbunam Okoye, David Adzer, Jeffrey Ucheh Osang Paul, and Chibuike Nwanchukwu filed the lawsuit on behalf of themselves and other registered electors and FCT residents.
They asked the court, among other things, “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.”If any state in the federal republic of Nigeria were substituted for the FCT, would the plaintiffs and other residents and registered electors in Abuja not be discriminated against?”
In addition, the plaintiffs demanded that President Muhammadu Buhari’s tenure be extended until his successor is appointed in accordance with the constitution.