We have 37 states in Nigeria – INEC

We have 37 states in Nigeria - INEC

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), in its final written address on the petition filed by the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), says the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) has no special status.

Counsel to INEC, Abubakar Mahmoud noted that In line with section 134 of the constitution, the FCT is treated as a state, in essence, there are 37 states in the country.

Mahmoud said the petitioners have failed woefully in establishing their petition hence, their request should be dismissed by the tribunal.


According to INEC’s lead counsel, the petitioners listed non-compliance with the Electoral Act, the status of the FCT, INEC Regulations and Guidelines, and the use of technology in the election as major issues of contention.

Mahmoud however said it is illogical to insist one must get 25 percent of votes in the country’s capital as postulated by the petitioners. He argued that it will create a situation where FCT voters would be given special status above other Nigerians living in other states.

While urging the tribunal to dismiss the petition by Atiku and the PDP, the INEC lawyer insisted that their claim on the status of the FCT is “most absurd.”


On the technical glitches during the election, Mahmoud said evidence shows that accreditation and authentication of voters were effective and that the technical glitches cited by Atiku happened for about 4 hours but were resolved and didn’t affect the final outcome of the polls.

“They have failed woefully to establish that there was human interference in the technical glitches that happened on election day,” Mahmoud said.

“The petitioners constructed certain things in their minds to which they failed to prove,” Mahmoud added.


Also, the presidential tribunal sitting in Abuja on Tuesday reserved judgment on the petition filed by the PDP candidate, Atiku Abubakar, on the February 25 presidential election.

Atiku is challenging the declaration of President Bola Tinubu as the winner of the election.


Respondents in the suit are the Independent National Electoral Commission, Bola Tinubu, and the All Progressives Party.


Among several issues raised in the joint petition, Atiku and the PDP are alleging that Tinubu was not qualified to contest the poll.

They claim that the president was indicted for drug trafficking in the United States, that his academic certificates submitted to INEC were forged, and that Tinubu is a citizen of Guinea.

The petitioners also accused INEC of manipulating the poll to favour Tinubu.


The petitioners closed their case on June 23 after calling 27 witnesses.


The tribunal had adjourned the petition after President Tinubu, Vice-President Kashim Shettima and the All Progressives Congress (APC) closed their defence on July 5.

The court had directed parties in the petition to write, file and exchange their final written addresses.

At the resumed session on Tuesday, parties in the suit adopted their final addresses which summarises all the evidence tendered before the court.

The tribunal after adopting the parties’ final written addresses, reserved judgment to a date to be communicated to the parties in the case.

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