Group files suit to stop Atiku’s presidential bid over citizenship

Feb 11 2019 - 7:16pm
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The Incorporated Trustees of Egalitarian Mission for Africa has asked the Federal High Court Abuja to disqualify the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar from contesting the Feb. 16 presidential election.

The group wants Atiku disqualified over the circumstances surrounding his Nigerian citizenship.

The suit which was filed on behalf of the group by Mr Kayode Ajulo is seeking an interpretation of Section 25(1) & (2) and 131(a) of the 1999 Constitution.

The group named the PDP, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice as defendants in the suit.

It also wants the court to determine, “Whether Section 25 of the Constitution is the sole authority that spells out ways by which a person can become a Nigerian citizen by birth.

“Whether by the provisions of Section 131(a) of the Constitution, only a Nigerian citizen by birth can contest for the office of the president.

“Whether by the combined interpretation of Sections 25(1) & (2) and 131(a) of the Constitution and giving the circumstances surrounding the birth of Mr Atiku, he can be cleared by PDP and INEC to contest for office of the president”.

The plaintiff, in the suit, said that if the court resolved the issues in its favour, it should declare that by the provisions of the 1999 Constitution, only a Nigerian citizen by birth could contest for president.

“A declaration that by the combined interpretation of Sections 25(l) & (2) and 131(a) of the Constitution and giving the circumstances surrounding Atiku’s birth, he cannot be cleared by PDP and INEC to contest for president.

In an affidavit deposed to by one Michael Okejimi, a legal practitioner in the law firm of Ajulo, the deponent  averred that Atiku was born on Nov. 25, I946.

“That from Atiku’s own testimony that is gazetted and published in most national dailies in circulation, he is from Jada town in Adamawa and Jada used to be in Ganye Local Government Area in Adamawa.

“That Ganye is regarded as the mother of the whole Chamba tribe and was never part of Nigeria legally as at the date of birth of Atiku.

“That none of Atiku’s parents or grandparents was born in Nigeria and his father died a citizen of Northern Cameroon in I957 prior to the referendum of June 1, 1961 that made Northern Cameroon became part of Nigeria.

The suit has, however, not been assigned to a judge.

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