Journalism in the service of society

FCT like 37th state, any other interpretation will lead to chaos – Tinubu’s lawyers tell tribunal

THE lawyers to President Bola Tinubu and Vice-President Kashim Shettima, have asked the Presidential Election Petition Court to dismiss the petition of the presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi, and his party.

The counsel for the President and his deputy led by Wole Olanipekun (SAN), in his final written address against the petition of Obi and LP, said the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja is like Nigeria’s 37 state.

Olanipekun argued that Tinubu, then candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) scored 25% of the lawful votes cast in the FCT and any other interpretation will lead to chaos and anarchy in the country.

“May we draw the attention of the court to the fact that there is no punctuation (comma) in the entire section 134(2)(b) of the constitution, particularly, immediately after the ‘States’ and the succeeding ‘and’ connecting the Federal Capital Territory with the States. In essence, the reading of the subsection has to be conjunctive and not disjunctive, as the Constitution clearly makes it so. Pressed further, by this constitutional imperative, the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, is taken ‘as if’ it is the 37th State, under and by virtue of section 299 of the Constitution.

“With much respect, any other interpretation different from this will lead to absurdity, chaos, anarchy and alteration of the very intention of the legislature,” the senior lawyer said on behalf of other lawyers defending the APC candidate.

Olanipekun described the arguments and testimonies of witnesses presented by the challengers as “frivolous, bogus and based on hearsay”.

In his written address, he urged the court to dismiss the petition as totally lacking in merit, substance and bona fide.

The Senior Advocate of Nigeria also argued that the “remote” contention of the petitioners that his client’s election should be cancelled for not scoring 25 percent or one-quarter of the votes recorded in the FCT is not backed by any fact known to the law as the use of “and” in the constitution is conjunctive and not disjunctive.

The address reads in part: “This case clearly cries to high heavens in vain to be fed with relevant and admissible evidence.

“The appellant woefully failed to realise that judges do not act like the oracles of life, which is often engaged in crystal gazing and thereafter would proclaim a new oba in succession to a deceased oba.

“Judges cannot perform miracles in the handling of civil claims, and at least of all manufacture evidence for the purpose of assisting a plaintiff win his case.”

Comments are closed.

Naija Times