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Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Ex-Justice minister Aondoakaa faults INEC on declaring Tinubu president-elect

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A former Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Micheal Aondoakaa, SAN, has faulted the decision of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to declare the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, winner of the 2023 presidential election.

Aondoakaa cited the Constitutional requirement that candidate must attain 25% of votes in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) before such a person can be declared President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Speaking on Arise TV at the weekend, he maintained that Tinubu did not meet that aspect of the law in the FCT in the last presidential election.

The former minister said that in a similar case in 2008, the Supreme Court interpreted the word “And” conjunctively making it a mandatory requirement for anyone aspiring to be the President of the Federation.

According to him, the law has not changed since fourteen years ago when the case was decided, adding that it will be incumbent on the apex court to re-interpret that section of the Constitution again. In his words “the Supreme Court has a right to defeat their previous decision or stand by it according to the doctrine of Stare Decisis”.

The former minister of justice said that the electoral umpire violated its own guidelines by failing to upload results of the election from the polling units directly to its server.

“The Supreme Court is conscious about a party following its own guidelines and how much more INEC whose guidelines have a Constitutional Flavour,” the learned silk said.

“They will need to have a good reason to be told to the tribunals why they deviated from their guidelines and they must justify that deviating from those guidelines did not invalidate the results,” he said.

He said the electoral umpire decided to change the goalpost in the middle of the game, insisting that this will be a serious issue to justify.

INEC on Wednesday went on to declare the APC candidate, Bola Ahmed Tinubu winner of the 2023 presidential election despite the outcry of Nigerians over alleged massive rigging of the electoral process.

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