The validity of Bola Tinubu’s inauguration as Nigeria’s president on May 29 has been questioned by Datti Baba-Ahmed, Labour Party’s vice-presidential candidate.
On March 1, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) announced Tinubu, the candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), as the winner of the presidential election.
During a recent appearance on Channels Television’s Politics Today, Baba-Ahmed made it known that the APC did not meet the qualifications of Section 134 (2)(a) and (b) of the constitution for election to the office of President.
According to the provisions of the section, the rightful winner is one who “has the highest number of votes cast at the election” and “has not less than one-quarter of the votes cast at the election each of at least two-thirds of all the States in the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja”.
Datti said that Tinubu’s inauguration would be illegal in his remarks to President Muhammadu Buhari and Judge Olukayode Ariwoola, the CJN of Nigeria.
He said: “Mr President, do not hold that inauguration. CJN, Your Lordship, do not partake in unconstitutionality.”
While talking further, he said swearing in a ticket that has not met the requirements of the constitution is ending democracy.
He added: “That is my interpretation and that is indeed a correct interpretation. You cannot swear [in] people who have not met the constitutional requirements; you can’t do that.
“If you do it, you have done something unlawful, something unconstitutional. I’m not taking risks with my safety and with my life. It was more extreme for [INEC Chairman, Mahmood] Yakubu to issue that certificate; it was reckless. He’s putting all our lives in danger.”
The LP and Peter Obi filed a suit before the Election Petition Tribunal in Abuja recently to challenge Tinubu’s declaration as the victor of the presidential election on February 25, 2023.
The first to fourth respondents on the petition with the file number CA/PEPC/03/2023 are INEC, Tinubu, Senator Kashim Shettima, who is his running mate, and the APC.
The petitioners are asking the tribunal to declare that Tinubu was not legitimately elected with the majority of the votes cast in a fair election. They are also asking for a court order compelling INEC to withdraw the certificate of return it had earlier given to the APC candidate and issue a new one to Obi.
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