• Opinion
  • Updated: March 26, 2023

2023 Presidency: How Lawyers Are Making 25 Per Cent Requirement Difficult For Nigerians

2023 Presidency: How Lawyers Are Making 25 Per Cent Requirem

Some Nigerian lawyers who are supposed to be our last hope of guidance and reference have become political interpreters twisting the dictates of the law to suit their political standpoints.

One would think that the principle of separation of powers that gives legal practitioners the guise to be the last hope of the common man through law interpretation will be at the country’s mercy; as things stand today, most lawyers have become agents of confusion in the polity.

Nigerians trust lawyers. They see them as the mouthpiece of the law and see everything they say as the general truth, but concerning the 25% FCT requirement for the post of president, their interpretations have been divisive and unreliable to the point that Nigerians don’t know whom to believe.

According to a renowned Constitution Lawyer, Dr Olukayode Ajulo, Nigerian lawyers are beginning to politicise the matter, insisting that securing 25 per cent of votes in FCT is necessary to secure victory for any presidential candidate.

Only Peter Obi, the candidate of Labour Party secured 25 per cent in FCT in the February 25 Presidential Elections, while the President-elect, Bola Tinubu, the APC candidate, scored 20 per cent

The development has opened up lots of comments and reactions from legal practitioners, while some are giving credence to the 25 per cent, others said the FCT should be treated as a state.

It is even in the petition filed by Peter Obi and the Labour Party that Bola Tinubu should not be president because he did not score 25% in the FCT, making many Nigerians wonder where the matter will lead.

The direct impact of this is that ordinary Nigerians will be the victims of the law debacle.

The ordinary people who have always trusted lawyers’ explanations and intellectual interventions will now have to contend with politically motivated inputs from our respected lawyers.

Nigerians can now hardly get the true picture of the law because politics has been dangerously mixed with it to please certain political class quarters.

If our lawyers are not making the interpretation thorny, why then do we have different interpretations to the requirements? 

Lawyers from Peter Obi’s corner are maintaining that it is a requirement while the crusaders of Bola Tinubu are saying the opposite.

Though there is an intersection between law and politics,they should not be muddled up when discussing pertinent legal issues as we have it now.

Because of our lawyers’ political standpoints, they have knotted and weaved the shape of law in the country in the manner that best suits their pay masters. 

It is high time they remembered that such legal issues as the 25% FCT requirement has the potential of affecting the nationhood of the country and the collective development of her citizens.

Our lawyers are professional colleagues with different interests and affiliations. 

Over the years, they have given certain legal opinions they do not even believe in because of politics.

They have taken the 25% FCT legal requirement to another level. 

Some have gone to national TV to argue their cases and others have given their views on social media confusing Nigerians with their supposed verdicts in the process.

It is the common man on the streets who are suffering this dangerous game of deliberate misinterpretation of our laws our lawyers are playing.

Because of their own pockets, they are making a mockery of the nation’s constitution and the legal profession.

If they don’t nobelise their profession, it will come back to hunt its makers.

We call on lawyers to stop shielding the truth and sieve opinions from the dictates of the law. 

Nigerians need them and not their political view of the law. Nigeians see lawyers as the gatekeepers of the constitution and when they tweak the law for personal gains, they will lose the trust most Nigerians have in them.

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