A constitutional lawyer, Kayode Ajulo, has advised lawyers against politicising the issue of obtaining 25 per cent of votes in the Federal Capital Territory, as a requirement to win the Presidential election.
Mr Ajulo declared this in Abuja on Sunday, in reacting to the backdrop of some lawyers pressing that securing 25 per cent of votes in FCT was essential to secure victory for any presidential candidate.
The candidate of the Labor Party, Peter Obi, secured 25 per cent in FCT in the February 25 presidential election, while the President-elect Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress secured just 20 per cent of the FCT votes.
However this, development has generated a lot of critiques and reactions from legal practitioners, among the legal practioners. While some belief that the 25 per cent is necessary, others said the FCT should be treated as a state.
Meanwhile, Mr Ajulo expressed that politics has been mixed with the law to please specific quarters of the political class, noting that it was a dangerous move.
“There is politics, and there is the law, and while they can sometimes intersect, they should not be muddled up when discussing pertinent legal issues,” he said.
He warned that such legal matters could affect the country and the collaborative development of her citizens.
The lawyer stated that, it is disturbing when some of his professional colleagues analysed issues of the 25 per cent requirement, noting that some analyses are uncomfortable and a despicable misconception.
He said, “Some lawyers give certain legal opinions they do not even believe in because of politics; it is the common man on the streets that suffers this dangerous game of deliberate misinterpretation of our laws.”
He said the deliberate misinterpretation of some lawyers was a mockery of the nation’s constitution and the legal profession, warning that such has a way of veering around to hunt its makers.
He declared it was compulsory to establish the truth amidst the fracas surrounding the interpretation of section 134(2) of the constitution and the diverse explanations by public commentators and senior lawyers.
The lawyer further stated that,there was a need to state the true position of the law, devoid of emotion and political sentiments.
“Candidates 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.
“First, he has the highest number of votes cast at the election; and secondly, 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 FCT,” he said.
Mr .A julo explained that, even though the FCT was not clearly defined as a state in law, the constitution has already decorated it with the function of a State, and all the authorities of a state governor are vested in the FCT Minister.
He explained further that, while the House of Assemblylegislates for a state, the National Assembly makes laws for the FCT.
He said while the states had their respective Local Government Areas, the FCT also has area councils.
The constitutional lawyer said, “a reasonable, just and sensible interpretation of section 134(2) would then be that scoring 25 percent of the votes cast in the FCT is like scoring 25 percent in any other State of the federation,” he said.