The Federal High Court in Abuja has been urged to among others restrain the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Olukayode Ariwoola or any other judge from swearing in any candidate in the February 25 presidential election as President or Vice-President until it is judicially determined with finality or in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution that such candidate has fulfilled the requirement of Section 134(2) (b) of the Constitution.
These formed part of the reliefs being sought in a suit filed by some five individuals, who claimed to be residents and registered voters in the FCT. In the suit, marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/578/2023, filed by their lawyers, Chuks Nwachuku, the plaintiffs raised four questions for the court’s determination in the originating summons filed on April 28.
They are contending that it was a mandatory constitutional requirement that a candidate must obtain at least 25 percent votes in the FCT to be declared winner of a presidential election. The plaintiffs are Anyaegbunam Okoye, David Adzer, Jeffery Ucheh, Osang Paul and Chibuike Nwachukwu, while the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and the CJN are listed defendants in the suit.
They want the court to issue “an order setting aside or suspending any declaration and/or issuance of a Certificate of a Return to any candidate in the February 25 presidential election in the country as having been elected, save and except it is judicially determined with finality that such candidate fulfilled the conditions stated in section 134(2) (b) of the Constitution.”
The plaintiffs also want the court to declare “that following the February 25 presidential election, and until a successor is determined in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution and sworn in, the term of office of his Excellency, Muhammadu Buhari, GCON, as President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria subsists and endures in accordance with the provisions of section 135 (1) (a) of the Constitution.”
They urged the court to declare that, “the plaintiffs and other FCT residents have a legal interest and constitutional rights to be heard on the question of whether a President-elect must secure at least 25percent of votes cast, on the first ballot, in the FCT, Abuja.” They so want a declaration that no state of the country is at the same time the FCT for any propose whatsoever, including, in particular, under section 134 (2) (b) of the constitution.