Femi Falana, Senior Advocate of Nigeria(SAN) has said that the controversy surrounding the 25% of votes by candidates in the presidential election has become a serious legal issue.
He made this known while speaking with newsmen in Abuja, recently. Falana said that Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, has been interpreted as a 37th state of the country .
He said he was reluctant to speak definitively on the section of the law that provides for the 25% vote allocation because there are decisions of the court on the status of Abuja.
He explained that every part of Nigeria is equal, including Abuja, the country’s Federal Capital Territory.
According to Falana, while the FCT has been interpreted as a 37th state, it is equal to all other states nationwide. Falana says he won’t give a definite comment on the controversial issue of 25% votes from Abuja because bthe issue is now before
His words: “I did state that there is no electoral college in Nigeria and therefore the votes cast or recorded in any part of the country are equal. Section 134 of the Constitution specifically requires a winner of a presidential election to meet certain requirements.”
According to Falana, the first bone of contention is for a candidate to score the majority of lawful votes, while the second issue regards territorial spread, a two-third majority of the states and the FCT. “And since the FCT has been interpreted to be a 37th state in Nigeria for the purpose of the constitution I didn’t see any controversy at the material time and that was when I expressed my opinion.
. “But now that it has become a serious legal issue and the matter is now pending in court, I am very reluctant to speak definitively on the section because there are decisions of the court on the status of Abuj,.” Falana said.