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Guinean Passport: What Tinubu Told Tribunal


Guinean Passport: What Tinubu Told Tribunal

President Bola Tinubu has told the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal that his Guinean citizenship expired in 2020, the same year when his Guinean passport, being brandished by the opposition, expired.

Tinubu made the claim through his lead counsel, Wole Olanipekun (SAN) while asking the tribunal to throw out a petition by the Labour Party (LP) seeking his (Tinubu) removal from office.

According to Tinubu’s counsel, the President’s Guinean passport tendered before the court by the Labour Party’s PW27 expired in 2020, adding that the opposition party’s claim on Tinubu’s dual citizenship is aimed at embarrassing the President.

Part of Tinubu’s claim through his lawyer read, “Lastly, the PW27, tendered Exhibit PBF4 (Guinean passport), which as usual, he claimed to have downloaded from the internet, purportedly representing the data pages of the respondent’s Guinean passport, which ex facie, shows that the passport expired in 2020. It is all a guess work, aimed at embarrassing the respondent.”

SaharaReporters had on Sunday reported that Tinubu warned the Presidential Election Tribunal not to annul the 2023 election on the grounds that obtaining 25 per cent of the votes in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja was a constitutional requirement for being elected as the country’s president.

The Independent National Electoral Commission had declared Tinubu as the winner of the February 25 presidential election with 8,794,726 votes while Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party and Peter Obi of the Labour Party came second and third respectively with 6,984,520 votes and 6,101,533 votes respectively.

Atiku and Obi alongside their parties subsequently challenged the outcome of the presidential election by filing petitions to the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal in Abuja.

One of their arguments is that Tinubu failed to secure 25 per cent of the valid votes cast in the Federal Capital Territory, as stipulated by the Nigerian Constitution.

Tinubu only secured 19 per cent of the valid votes cast in the FCT.

Section 134(2)(b) of the Constitution states that: “A candidate for an election to the office of 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 each of at least two-thirds of all the States in the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.”

But Tinubu, through his lead counsel argued that there was no superiority between the votes from voters secured in either Lagos or Kano, which are the most populous states and Bayelsa, Ebonyi and Ekiti, which are the least populous states.

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