Witnesses of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, have testified that both the party’s candidate and Bola Tinubu are not qualified to be declared as president for not scoring 25 percent in the FCT.
At the resumed hearing on Atiku’s petition against Tinubu, the witnesses maintained that it is constitutional that a candidate must secure 25 percent of votes in FCT to be declared winner.
The witnesses were: Abiye Sekibo (Rivers); Mohammed Babaji Madaki (FCT); Abraham David (FCT); and Ibrahim Mohammed Hamza (Nasarawa) testified on Monday.
Testifying through PDP counsel, Eyitayo Jegede (SAN), Madaki, who is the PDP FCT chairman, submitted that scoring 25 percent in the FCT was compulsory to be declared as president.
Recall that in the presidential election results announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) only Peter Obi, the Labour Party candidate secured 25 percent and more of the votes in the FCT, having 281,717 which is 59 percent. Tinubu of All Progressives Congress recorded the highest votes of 8,794,726 but had only 90,902 which is 18.98 percent of the votes in the FCT, while Atiku Abubakar secured 74,194 votes.
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While being cross examined by counsel to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Abdullahi Aliyu, he maintained that his statement was not his personal opinion but based on the law and the constitution.
In response to a question on whether his candidate got the required result in the FCT, he said, “My candidate did not score 25 percent of votes in the FCT based on the purported result published by INEC.”
Under cross examination by counsel to APC, Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), Madaki admitted that FCT is like any other state.
Similarly, David, the PDP FCT collation agent, was asked by INEC counsel, Aliyu, whether his candidate, who scored only 15 percent and not the 25 percent was qualified to be declared president, and he said, “I agree he (Atiku) is not entitled to be declared as president, even Tinubu.”