Nigeria’s President Bola Tinubu Calls for Rival Peter Obi to Be Disqualified in a Possible Election Rerun? No, Ignore Fabricated Quote

IN SHORT: Nigeria’s presidential election petition tribunal has finished hearing the opposition’s case against the electoral body. However, a Facebook post makes an unsubstantiated allegation about Tinubu.

Nigerian law requires a presidential election winner to have the highest number of votes overall and at least a quarter of the votes in two-thirds of the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

But whether or not a candidate needs to win 25% of the votes cast in the FCT to be declared the winner of the election is a matter of debate.

While Bola Tinubu received the highest number of votes and was declared the winner of the disputed 25 February 2023 vote, no candidate received 25% of the votes cast in the FCT, except Peter Obi with 59%.

The outcome of the election conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission (Inec), which produced Tinubu as Nigeria’s president, has been challenged in court. A tribunal began hearing the case on 8 May.

However, if no candidate reaches the legal threshold, a runoff election is held between the top two candidates. The first candidate must have received the most votes in the election, while the other must have received the majority of votes in most states.

But a post shared on Facebook reads: “Disqualify Peter Obi, Rerun Election Should Be Between Atiku And I – Tinubu Begs Tribunal.”

It claims that Tinubu asked the tribunal to disqualify Obi, the Labour Party’s presidential candidate, and hold a rerun between him and Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party.

A rerun is held if the first election was marred by malpractice or if proper procedures were not followed. A runoff election is held when the first election does not produce a clear winner.

The same claim appeared on Facebook here, here, here, here and here.

But did Nigeria’s president ask the tribunal to disqualify Obi? We checked.

Judgement yet to be delivered

The hearing of the case challenging the result of the presidential election ended on 4 July with Inec presenting the only witness to close its defence.

Local media reported that the head of the court, Haruna Tsammani, said the date of the verdict would be announced to all parties.

At the time of writing, the court hadn’t given its verdict on the case, nor had it said whether there would be a rerun. Such a ruling in a high-profile case would have made headlines if it were true.

We found no reports in local or international news outlets, or from the Ministry of Information, that such a request had been made.


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