By Uche Mbah
Erudite legal luminary and Professor of Constitutional Law, Ben Nwabueze, SAN, has picked holes in the declaration by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, that PresidentMuhammadu Buhari is the President elect.
INEC Chairman had on National television declared that President Buhari, having won the Highest number of votes in the election, is hereby declared the president elect. He did not talk of the 25% of two thirds of states and Abuja.
But Nwabueze was said to have noted that he relied on partial fulfillment of the constitutional requirement since he did not say anything about the 25% of two thirds of all the states in Abuja.
“I think the declaration and certification are invalid in law. Do the declaration and certification not manifest undue bias and partiality for Buhari on the part of INEC Chairman as well as an anxious desire for the President’s victory? Please consider and take action as you may consider necessary and appropriate,” he said.
He queried the constitutional Validity of the whole process.
“Did the declaration and certification comply with section 134(2) of the Constitution which provides as follows: A candidate for an election to the office of the President shall be deemed to have been duly elected where, there being more than two candidates for the election –
(a) he has the highest number of votes cast at the election, and
(b) he has not less than one-quarter of the votes cast at the election in each of at least two-thirds of all the states in the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.”
According to him, the INEC Chairman’s declaration and certification were based entirely on section 134(2)(a)), nothing at all was said on whether sub-section 2(b) has been complied with.
“I am concerned with the validity of the declaration and certification as a legal requirement, not with the question whether sub-section 2(b) has in fact been complied with,” he said.
The constitutional requirement for the two third majority has been documented and dealt with when Chief Obafemi Awolowo took Shehu sahagari to court on whether he actually satisfied the constitutional requirements, on what constitutes two-thirds of nineteen states. The Supreme Court ruled in favor of Shagari, but decreed that that judgement should never be cited as precedence in court.