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No, election tribunal hasn't declared Peter Obi winner of Nigeria’s 2023 February presidential election

IN SHORT: Nigeria's election petition tribunal began hearing cases against the country's electoral commission in early May 2023. But claims that the tribunal has declared the candidate Peter Obi the winner of February's presidential election are false.

Does a candidate need to secure 25% of the votes cast in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to be declared the winner of Nigeria's presidential election

This has been the subject of much debate following the country’s 25 February 2023 polls.

Nigeria has 36 states and the federal capital territory. No other candidate received 25% of the vote in the FCT, except the Labour Party's Peter Obi, who received about 59%.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (Inec) conducted the election and declared the ruling party’s Bola Tinubu the winner.

Obi has challenged this outcome. The tribunal began hearing his case on 8 May.

Under Nigerian law, in a multi-candidate presidential election, the winner must have the highest number of votes overall and at least one quarter of the votes in two-thirds of all states and the FCT. 

But an 18 July post on Facebook claims that the court had declared Obi the winner of the election because he met the 25% threshold.

The video accompanying the post appears to show the owner of the Facebook page attributing the claim to “Arise TV news”. The video has been viewed over a million times and shared over 10,000 times.

Arise News is a Nigerian-owned television station broadcast from the UK and the USA.

The same claim was reposted on Facebook here, here, here, here and here

But did the election tribunal declare Obi winner?


Claim not supported by an credible media reports

Local media reported that on 4 July, Inec presented one of the three witnesses it had previously lined up and closed its defence against the allegations made by Obi. This is the latest report on the case at the time of publication.

We found no other reports on the case in any credible media organisation – including none from Arise TV reporting that the elections tribunal had declared Obi the winner of the presidential election.

Such an anticipated verdict in what is a very high-profile case would have made both local and international headlines, if it were true. It’s not.

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