Atiku Not Fit To Contest For President, His Parents Are Cameroonians - Abubakar Malami Says
Nigeria’s Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami has told a Federal High Court in Abuja that former Vice President Atiku Abubakar is not eligible under the constitution to contest for President.
Malami said this in an affidavit in support of a suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/177/2019 and filed before the court by the Incorporated Trustees of Egalitarian Mission for Africa (EMA).
EMA is hard Atiku’s eligibility to contest for President and praying the court docket to hold among others, that thinking about the provisions of sections 25(1) &(2) and 131(a) of the charter and the situations surrounding his birth, the former Vice President cannot contest for the top workplace.
Although the suit turned into filed earlier than the 2019 presidential election, it's miles yet to be heard and decided.
However, it become stated on March 15, all through which Justice Inyang Ekwo referred to that the healthy become ripe for listening to and stuck May four, for that motive.
The AGF via his criminal team led with the aid of Oladipo Okpeseyi argued that, having no longer been born a Nigerian or via Nigerian dad and mom, and having no longer met the provisions of Sections 25(1) &(2) and 131(a) of the charter, Atiku might be violating Section 118(1)(okay) of the Electoral Act have to he placed himself ahead as candidate.
Malami in an affidavit said, “The first defendant (Atiku) isn't certified to contest to be president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” Malami submitted. The first defendant isn't a healthy and proper individual to be a candidate for election to the office of president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“The first defendant was born on the twenty fifth of November, 1946 at Jada, at the time in Northern Cameroon. By the plebiscite of 1961, the metropolis of Jada became incorporated into Nigeria.
“The first defendant is a Nigerian by way of virtue of the 1961 plebiscite, but no longer a Nigerian by means of delivery. The first defendant’s parents died earlier than the 1961 plebiscite.”
Malami stated the impact of the June 1, 1961 plebiscite become to have the humans of Northern Cameroon integrated into Nigeria as new residents of the united states of america, even after Nigeria’s independence.
“This qualified all the ones born before the 1961 plebiscite as residents of Nigeria, but now not Nigerian citizen by delivery. Consequently, best residents born after the 1961 plebiscite are citizens of Nigeria by means of birth,” he introduced.
Citing the provisions of 1960, 1963, 1979 and 1999 constitutions Malami said the “reasoning of the lawmakers in making sure that the folks to be the president of Nigeria is a citizen of Nigeria by using delivery is because such a person is the number one citizen and the image of the Nigerian state”.
“This is even more so wherein his mother and father do no longer belong to any tribe indigenous to Nigeria till their death,” he stated.
“The statistics of his (Atiku’s) delivery on the Cameroonian territory to Cameroonian mother and father stay unchallenged.
“At quality, the first defendant can simplest gather Nigerian citizenship via the 1961 plebiscite. The citizenship qualifications beneath Section 26 and 27 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (1999), with the aid of implication, has limited the primary defendant’s privileges or rights and can not be identical or proportional to the privileges of different residents who acquire their citizenship popularity via beginning.
“This could consist of the prison preclusion of the primary defendant from contesting for the office of the President of Nigeria. If either his mother and father had grow to be Nigerian citizen via distinctive feature of Section 25(1) of the 1999 Constitution, which have to be in compliance with Sections 26 and 27of the equal charter.
“With no concrete evidence of compliance, we submit that the first defendant can't contest election to the office of the Nigerian President.”
The Minister said Atiku committed an offence under phase 118(1)(k) of the Electoral Act when he contested and received the workplace of the vice-president in 1999.
However, Atiku and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on which platform he contested the ultimate election have requested the court docket to brush aside the fit for missing in merit.
In their word of objection filed jointly, they insisted that Atiku is “a bonafide citizen of the federal republic of Nigeria”.
Atiku also stated except serving as Nigeria’s vice-president from 1999 to 2007, he held many public and private workplaces, along with serving as governor of Adamawa state and become a commissioned officer of the Nigerian Customs Service.
He stated his mother and father, grandparents and excellent grandparents had been born in Nigeria and that they lived, died as Nigerians and were buried in Nigeria.
He told the courtroom that the suit was filed in terrible faith in an try to malign his character and integrity.
Atiku also objected to the plaintiff’s proper to undertaking his nationality, arguing that it failed to expose the hobby it has above different residents of Nigeria to be entitled to method the court docket on the difficulty.[NewsNaira]