- A video circulating on Facebook claims that the Supreme Court has ruled in favour of the Labour Party’s presidential candidate, Peter Obi, regarding the 25% of FCT votes controversy
- However, Legit.ng’s findings and Africa Check confirmed that this claim is incorrect as Obi’s petition is still with the Presidential Election Tribunal and has not yet reached the Supreme Court
- The video also references a TV interview with Michael Aondoakaa, the attorney-general of the federation, in which he discussed the Supreme Court’s 2008 interpretation of section 133 of the Nigerian Constitution
A viral video posted on Facebook alleged that Peter Obi, the Labour Party’s presidential candidate, who is contesting the results of the February 25, 2023 election, has received a favourable ruling from the Supreme Court.
Obi’s petition to the presidential election tribunal includes a request that Bola Tinubu, who ran under the All Progressives Congress, not be declared president-elect due to his failure to secure 25% of the votes in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, as allegedly mandated by the Nigerian constitution.
“25% of FCT: Supreme Court of Nigeria has ruled in favour of Peter Obi. INEC to withdraw Tinubu – Benedict,” the caption to the video reads. It includes a video in which the claim was repeated.
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While Obi won the FCT with 59% of the votes, Tinubu came second with 19% of the votes.
25% of FCT: Has the Supreme Court ruled in Peter Obi’s favour?
The video commentator mentions a TV interview from March 2023 featuring Michael Aondoakaa, the former justice minister and attorney-general of the federation.
During the interview, Aondoakaa discussed the Supreme Court’s 2008 interpretation of section 133 of the Nigerian Constitution, a controversial topic.
This section says:
“A candidate for an election to the office of President shall be deemed to have been duly elected to such office where, being the only candidate nominated for the election – (a) he has a majority of YES votes over NO 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.”
The 25% in FCT controversy
In 2023, the raging debate has centred around whether a presidential candidate must secure a minimum of 25% of the vote in Abuja, as well as in at least two-thirds of all states.
Aondoakaa remarked that the Supreme Court’s 2008 interpretation of the matter implies that obtaining 25% of the votes in Abuja is mandatory. However, he added that this interpretation was made 14 years ago, and the court may wish to revisit it.
Nevertheless, whether the 25% of the vote is compulsory or not, the Supreme Court has not ruled on Obi’s petition.
At the time of publication, Legit.ng‘s findings show that the Labour Party’s petition is still with the Presidential Election Tribunal. It has not reached the Supreme Court, and so the court could not have ruled on it.
Therefore, the claim in the viral video is incorrect, Africa Check also confirmed.
To follow the tribunal’s proceedings on Obi’s petition, follow Legit.ng’s live updates.
25% of FCT votes needed to win presidential election? INEC reveals official position
Meanwhile, Legit.ng earlier reported that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said a candidate is not required to secure 25% of votes in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to be declared winner of a presidential poll.
This was contained in a preliminary counter-suit filed by the electoral body before the tribunal on Tuesday, April 11.
As contained in the suit, INEC confirmed that the president-elect, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, met all the requirements that led to his declaration as winner of the keenly contested 2023 presidential poll.