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Court  hears suit on  Atiku’s citizenship

By Bimbo Akindunbi
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A Federal High Court, Abuja will on Monday hear the suit filed by Incorporated Trustees of Egalitarian Mission for Africa,  seeking the disqualification of the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, from contesting the February 23, presidential election.

A statement made available to The Hope Metro and signed by the President of the group, Mr. Kayode Ajulo, stated that  Justice I. E. Ekwo,  of Court 6 of the Federal High Court, Abuja, will hear the matter.

The group, had approached the court to challenge the alleged circumstances surrounding Atiku’s citizenship.

The suit, which was filed on  February 11, 2019 is seeking an interpretation of Sections 25 (1) & (2) and 131 (a) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).

The group joined 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 the following questions;

  1. 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?
  2. Whether by the provisions of Section 131 (a) of the Constitution, only a Nigerian citizen by birth can contest for the office of president?
  3. 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?
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The plaintiff, in the suit, said that if the court resolves the issues in its favour, it should declare that by the provisions of the 1999 Constitution, only a Nigerian citizen by birth can contest for President.

In an affidavit deposed in support of the plaintiff’s action, the deponent averred that Atiku was born on November 25, 1946.

“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 1957, prior to the referendum of June 1, 1961 that made Northern Cameroon a part of Nigeria.

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