2019: Group throws up trouble for Atiku, approaches court seeking his disqualification - Dove Bulletin - Online News Bulletin

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Tuesday, 12 February 2019

2019: Group throws up trouble for Atiku, approaches court seeking his disqualification


A non-governmental organisation, the Incorporated Trustees of Egalitarian Mission for Africa, has asked the Abuja division of the Federal High Court to disqualify the presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, on account of his citizenship.

The group is claiming that Abubakar was not born a Nigerian citizen.

In a suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/177/2019, dated February 11, 2019, the plaintiff wants an interpretation of Section 25(1) & (2) and 131(a) of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, (as amended).

The suit which was filed by Dr. Kayode Ajulo on behalf of the plaintiff has the People’s Democratic Party, the Independent National Electoral Commission, and the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice as defendants.

The plaintiff wants the court to determine: “Whether Section 25 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, I999 (as amended) 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 of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, I999 (as amended), only a Nigeria citizen by birth can contest for the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria?

“Whether by the combined interpretation of Sections 25(1) & (2) and 131(a) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, I999 (as amended) and giving the circumstances surrounding the birth of the 1st defendant, he can be cleared by the 2nd and 3rd defendants to contest for the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria?

If the answers to the aforesaid questions are resolved in favour of the plaintiff, consequently, the group is seeking the following reliefs.

“A declaration that by the provisions of Section 131(a) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, I999 (as amended), only a Nigerian citizen by birth can contest for the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“A declaration that by the combined interpretation of Sections 25(l) & (2) and 131(a) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, I999 (as amended) and giving the circumstances surrounding the birth of the 1st Defendant, he cannot be cleared by the 2nd and 3rd Defendants to contest for the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”

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

“That from the 1st defendant’s own testimony that is gazetted and published in most national dailies in circulation, the 1st defendant is from Jada town in Adamawa State of Nigeria and Jada used to be in Ganye Local Government Area in Adamawa.

“That Ganye is regarded as the mother of the whole Chamba tribe.

“That Ganye, however, was never part of Nigeria legally as at the date of birth of the 1st defendant.

“That the area had been entrusted to Britain by a League of Nations mandate in l919 and later as Trust Territory by the United Nations in l946.

“That with the defeat of Germany in World War I, Cameron became a League of Nations mandate territory and was split into French Cameroons and British Cameroons in 1919.

“That while France integrated the economy of her part of Cameroon with that of France, the British administered hers from neighbouring Nigeria, making 1st defendant’s Jada, a British franchise.

“That a plebiscite was held in British Cameroons to determine whether the people preferred to stay in Cameroon or align with Nigeria.

“That while northern Cameroon preferred a union with Nigeria, southern Cameroon chose alignment with the mother country.

“That on June 1, I961, northern Cameroon became part of Nigeria, and on October 1, 1961, the southern territory dissolved into Cameroon.

“That Ganye, which incorporates the lst defendant’s birthplace of Jada was the headquarters of British Cameroons, but it joined Nigeria following the plebiscite.

“That when the lst defendant was born on November 25, I946, to a Fulani trader and farmer Garba Abubakar, Jada village and other parts of Chamba land in the then northern Cameroon were still known as British Cameroons.

“That none of the lst defendant’s parents or grandparents was born in Nigeria.

“That the Ist defendant’s 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.

“That that 1st defendant’s ancestral origin is deeply rooted in the then northern Cameroon.

“That the lst defendant is not a Nigerian citizen by birth.

“That the 1st defendant is not qualified to be elected into the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The suit is yet to be assigned to a judge.
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