The former Presidential aspirant and a former vice president of Nigeria, Atiku Abubakar ambition for president in 2023 may suffer setback as he is facing a legal hurdle seeking to disqualify him from presenting himself as a candidate for the 2023 presidential election in Nigeria.
A group, identified as the Incorporated Trustees of Egalitarian Mission for Africa has approached the Federal High Court in Abuja, seeking an order to stop Atiku from contesting future presidential elections in Nigeria.
The group told the court that it is a non-governmental association registered in 13 African countries.
According to the plaintiff in the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/177, Atiku is not a Nigerian by birth and therefore should not be eligible to become the President of the country.
They also joined the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), and the Attorney-General of the Federation as other defendants in the suit.
The group according to a report, wants the court to determine “Whether by section 25 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (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, 1999 (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 section 25(1) & (2) and 131(a) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), and giving the circumstances surrounding the birth of the 1st Defendant (Atiku), he can be cleared by the 2nd and 3rd Defendants to contest for the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria?
Upon determination of the questions, the Plaintiff is seeking a declaration that by the provisions of the Constitution, “only a Nigerian citizen by birth can contest for the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
is equally asking the court to declare that given the circumstances surrounding Atiku’s birth, he cannot be cleared by either PDP or the INEC, to vie for the Presidency.
However, Atiku in a counter-affidavit deposed on his behalf by one Nanchang Ndam, wants the court to dismiss the entirety of the suit challenging his eligibility to contest the presidency in Nigeria for lack of merit.
Atiku in his argument, submitted before the court that he is a bonafide citizen of Nigeria and eligible to contest the presidency of the country.
He told the court that aside serving as Vice President of Nigeria from 1999 to 2007, both his parents, grandparents and great grandparents were born in Nigeria and they lived, died as Nigerians, and were buried in Nigeria.
Meanwhile, Justice Inyang Ekwo when the case came up yesterday, has adjourned it till May 4, for the hearing of the substantive suit alongside Atiku’s preliminary objection.
The court ordered that the service of hearing notice be served on all the parties before the next date.