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Scoring 25% of votes in FCT not mandatory to win Presidential election – Supreme court rules, says non-transmission on IReV didn’t affect outcome of poll

Scoring 25% of votes in FCT not mandatory to win Presidential election - Supreme court rules, says non-transmission on IReV didn?t affect outcome of poll

The Supreme Court has upheld the ruling by the Appeal Court that a candidate does not need to get at least 25% FCT (Federal Capital Territory) votes to be declared as the country’s president.

The Appeal Court had on September 6 dismissed the petition filed by Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Labour Party (LP)’s Peter Obi seeking that Tinubu’s win in February 2023 be nullified on the ground that he did not get 25% FCT votes. Obi and Atiku had approached the Supreme court to dismiss the Appeal court’s ruling.

Delivering judgement on their appeal today October 26, the Supreme Court held that scoring 25% is not mandatory to win the Presidential election.

The apex court also ruled that the failure of the Independent National Electoral Commission to electronically transmit the election results via the IReV portal does not affect the collation. Justice John Okoro, noted that the Electoral Act empowers INEC to determine the mode of transmission of election results. The justice said the appellants failed to prove noncompliance with the electoral law but relied solely on INEC’s inability to electronically transmit the election results to the INEC Results Viewing (IReV) portal.

On Thursday, the Supreme Court declared that the unavailability of election results on the INEC Result Viewing Portal (IReV) cannot serve as a basis for the annulment of the presidential election held in February 2023.

Justice Inyang Okoro, who led the panel of five Supreme Court justices, delivered the judgment in the appeals brought forth by Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP) and Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). These appeals contested the ruling of the Presidential Elections Petitions Court (PEPC), which affirmed Bola Tinubu’s victory in February.

“I agree with the lower court that the failure of INEC to electronically transmit the results does not affect the collation of results,” Justice Okoro said.

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