SAHARANEWS – A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja will on Thursday open hearing into a suit before Justice Inyang Ekwo, questioning former vice president Atiku Abubakar’s claim to being a citizen of Nigeria by birth.
This is coming few weeks after the All Progressives Congress, APC urged the tribunal to dismiss PDP’s petition for incompetence, arguing that Section 131(a) of the Constitution stipulates that a person must be a citizen of Nigeria by birth to be qualified to contest for the office of the President.
The suit pursues a proclamation to the effect that Atiku was not qualified to contest the 2019 presidential election as the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
According to Mr. Kayode Ajulo, the spokesperson who filed the suit on behalf of the plaintiff; incorporated Trustees of Egalitarian Mission for Africa, wants the court to disqualify Atiku over alleged circumstances surrounding his citizenship.
The group wants the court to interpret the provision of Sections 25(1) & (2) and 131(a) of the 1999 Constitution.
The Mission named the PDP, the Independent National Electoral Commission, and the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice as defendants in the suit.
In a supporting affidavit, deposed to by one Michael Okejimi, a legal practitioner in the law firm of Ajulo, the deponent averred that Atiku was born on November 25, 1946 in Cameroon.
“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.”
The plaintiff 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 president.
Whether by the combined interpretation of Sections 25 (1) & (2) and 131 (a) of the constitution and given the circumstances surrounding the birth of Alhaji Atiku, he can be cleared by PDP and INEC to contest for office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.