INEC Responds to PDP’s Petition on the Status of FCT and Electoral Process

INEC Responds to PDP’s Petition on the Status of FCT and Electoral Process

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) presented its final written address in response to the petition filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar.

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The central issue raised by the petitioners was the status of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and alleged non-compliance with electoral laws and guidelines during the election.

Status of the FCT: Treated as a State

Counsel to INEC, Abubakar Mahmoud, emphasized that the FCT is treated as a state, and, therefore, the total number of states in the country stands at 37.

He referred to Section 134 of the constitution to support this assertion.

Mahmoud argued that granting special voting status to the FCT, as proposed by the petitioners, would create an unequal situation, favoring FCT voters over other Nigerians living in different states.

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Petitioners’ Failure to Establish Claims

INEC’s lead counsel further contended that the petitioners failed to substantiate their claims adequately.

Among the key issues raised by the PDP were non-compliance with the Electoral Act, the status of the FCT, INEC Regulations and Guidelines, and the use of technology during the election.

However, Mahmoud asserted that the petitioners’ arguments lacked substantial evidence to support their claims.

Rejection of the FCT’s Special Status

The INEC lawyer strongly opposed the idea that obtaining 25 percent of the votes in the FCT should be a requirement for presidential candidates.

He argued that this proposal would elevate FCT voters to a privileged status, putting them above other Nigerian citizens residing in various states.

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Mahmoud characterized the petitioners’ claim on the FCT’s status as “most absurd” and called for its dismissal.

Technical Glitches and Election Outcome

Addressing the technical glitches experienced during the election, Mahmoud provided evidence that the accreditation and authentication of voters were effective.

He acknowledged that technical issues occurred for about four hours during the polls, but they were promptly resolved and did not impact the final outcome of the election.

The lawyer dismissed the notion of any human interference in these technical glitches, stating that the petitioners failed to prove their allegations.

Conclusion:

In conclusion, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) firmly rejected the petition filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Atiku Abubakar.

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The INEC’s counsel, Abubakar Mahmoud, argued that the FCT holds no special status and should be treated as a state.

He called the petitioners’ claims on non-compliance with electoral laws and the FCT’s status “woefully” unsubstantiated and urged the tribunal to dismiss the petition.

Furthermore, the lawyer refuted any significant impact of technical glitches during the election, emphasizing that they did not influence the final election results.

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