The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Tuesday in its final written address on the petition filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar said the FCT has no special status.
Abubakar Mahmoud, who works as counsel for INEC, said that section 134 of the constitution says that the FCT is treated as a state. This means that there are 37 states in total in the country.
Mahmoud said that the applicants did a terrible job of making their case, so the tribunal should turn down their request.
INEC’s lead lawyer said that the petitioners’ main complaints were about not following the Electoral Act, the situation of the FCT, INEC’s regulations and guidelines, and the use of technology in the election.
Mahmoud however said it is illogical to insist one must get 25 percent of votes in the country’s capital as postulated by the petitioners. He argued that it will create a situation where FCT voters would be given special status above other Nigerians living in other states.
While urging the tribunal to dismiss the petition by Atiku and the PDP, the INEC lawyer insisted that their claim on the status of the FCT is “most absurd.”
On the technical glitches during the election, Mahmoud said evidence shows that accreditation and authentication of voters were effective and that the technical glitches cited by Atiku happened for about 4 hours but were resolved and didn’t affect the final outcome of the polls.
“They have failed woefully to establish that there was human interference in the technical glitches that happened on election day,” Mahmoud said.
“The petitioners constructed certain things in their minds to which they failed to prove,” Mahmoud added.