Litigation, Insights

Does 1999 Constitution Require a Presidential Candidate to Secure 25 Percent of the Votes Cast in FCT, Abuja?

Nigerians have been seeking to elect the President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, members of the House of Representatives and Senate since Saturday, 25th February 2023. The most intriguing so far is the election to the office of the President.

The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) (“the 1999 Constitution) requires the fulfillment of two major conditions for a candidate to be duly elected as the President where the candidates in the election are more than two. Section 134 (2) of the 1999 Constitution gives the conditions as follows:
a) The candidate must secure the highest number of votes cast at the election; and
b) The candidate must have not less than one-quarter (1/4) of the votes cast at the election in each of at least two-thirds of the States in the Federation and the Capital Territory, Abuja.

If a candidate satisfies the provision of Section 134(2) of the 1999 Constitution, the provision of Section 134 (3) of the 1999 Constitution would not be called in aid, meaning there would be no need for a second election (i.e. a re-run/runoff).
The question however is whether there is a need for a second election if a candidate scores the highest number of votes cast in the election, secured not less than 25% of the votes cast in at least 24 States, but fails to secure 25% of the votes cast in the FCT…



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