Monday, March 1, 1999 Published at 20:44 GMT
Obasanjo to lead Nigeria
Olusegun Obasanjo celebrates his election success
Click here to listen to BBC Focus on Africa's report on the elections
General Olusegun Obasanjo has officially won the Nigerian presidential election, and is now due to lead the country's first civilian government for 15 years.
Former United States President Jimmy Carter, who is in Nigeria as an election observer, also questioned the outcome of the poll.
He promised that the cause of democracy would be advanced under his presidency.
Nigeria's independent National Electoral Commission said Mr Obasanjo had receieved 18.7 million votes, against Mr Falae's 11.1 million.
'Pattern of malpractice'
The former finance minister and his electoral partner, Umaru Shinkafi, issued the statement just before the results were announced, in an unsuccessful attempt to stop the poll from being accepted.
Carter questions result
He pointed to a "wide disparity between the number of voters observed at the polling stations, and the final result that has been reported from several states".
There was particular concern over ballot-rigging by both sides in the economically deprived Niger Delta region.
Why a soldier?
BBC West Africa Correspondent Mark Doyle says one of the key questions about the election is why the big political power-brokers of Nigeria decided to put up a retired military man as their candidate.
Both presidential candidates voted in their home towns on Saturday, expressing hope that the election would bury military rule.
Falae support in south-west
General Obasanjo swept to victory in northern, central and eastern Nigeria. Chief Falae - as expected - did well in the south-west.
The general's Peoples' Democratic Party (PDP) widened its lead by several percentage points compared to recent local, state and parliamentary elections in which it secured a majority of the vote.
Ready to govern
General Obasanjo's supporters have been celebrating and are already looking forward to government. Nigeria's current military ruler, General Abdulsalami Abubakar, has pledged to step down on 29 May, to make way for civilian rule.