Citizens of Nigeria are currently at the mercies of INEC and its officials as counting get underway following the 25th February elections.
Three separate elections took place – presidential, senatorial and house of representatives.
Here we look at how our new president will emerge (in theory) based on laws set out in section 134 of the constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria that was created in 1999 when Nigeria became a democratic country.
In the next few days we shall hear the outcome of the vote, potentially the announcement of our new president.
In summary, section 1 and 2 of the constitution states that to be considered president of Nigeria, the candidate must have the highest number of votes AND win at least one-quarter of votes in at least two-thirds of all states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.
This means that the candidate must gain 25% of votes in at least 24 States and Abuja – see full constitution here. Winning Abuja is not a mandatory requirement, as long as they meet the general criteria they will be recognised as the president.
This was clarified by a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Femi Falana who said; “It is not a requirement that you must win the FCT. The courts have ruled that pursuant to Section 299 of the constitution, that the FCT should be treated as a state. That is the law.
“You don’t have to win the FCT. If you meet the requirement; that is two-thirds of the majority of states in the country. You don’t have to win the FCT.”
What happens if there are no outright president?
A second round of voting begins.
The second round constitute of the top two candidates that emerged from the first round. There has been no second round voting since democracy returned in 1999.
There have been accusations of cheating and incorrect results, in this case, candidates have gone on to challenge the outcome in court. No success has been had so far as no result as ever been overturned.