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Removing me as president over failure to score 25% in Abuja may trigger anarchy in Nigeria – President Tinubu reportedly tells tribunal.

President Bola Tinubu allegedly warned members of the presidential elections tribunal that removing him from office could lead to a collapse in Nigerian law and order.

According to Peoples Gazzette, the President’s attorney, Wole Olanipekun, stated this in his last defence filed to the tribunal where Tinubu’s victory in the February 25, 2023 Presidential election is being challenged by the PDP’s Atiku Abubakar and Labour Party’s Peter Obi.

According to the report, President Tinubu’s legal team agreed that he did not receive 25% of the votes cast in Nigeria’s capital Abuja, but that this was insufficient to reverse his victory as reported by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.

“Any other interpretation different from this will lead to absurdity, chaos, anarchy and alteration of the very intention of the legislature,” President Tinubu’s lawyers led by Wole Olanipekun reportedly said in their final defense statement to the court.

The lawyers were referring to a part of the Nigerian Constitution that said that a presidential contender must receive 25% of the votes cast in two-thirds of Nigeria’s 36 states plus the Federal Capital Territory, or Abuja.

According to the President’s legal team, courts have historically been wary of granting extreme interpretations of the Constitution that could cause anarchy.

“Our courts have always adopted the purposeful approach to the interpretation of our Constitution, as exemplified in a host of decisions. Even if there was no election in one State (including the FCT), or even if the election of a State/States (including the FCT) is/are voided, the entire election cannot be voided or canceled.

In concluding our arguments on this issue, we urge the court to hold that any election where the electorate exercise their plebiscite, there is neither a ‘royal’ ballot nor ‘royal’ voter; and that residents of the FCT do not have any special voting right over residents of any other State of the federation, in a manner similar to the concepts of preferential shareholding in Company Law.

We urge this court to resolve this issue against the petitioners and in favour of the respondent” the lawyers said

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