Moments ago, a Constitutional Lawyer, Mr Johnmary Jideobi filed a case in the Federal High Court of Abuja, challenging the eligibility or qualification of the former vice president of Nigeria, Atiku Abubakar to contest in the 2023 presidential election.
This is coming only a few days after, Atiku was declared the presidential candidate or flag bearer of the People’s Democratic Party in the just concluded presidential primaries in Abuja.
According to reports from Bellnews, the Plaintiff in the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/751/2022, contended that the former vice president was not eligible to contest in the elections, given the circumstances surrounding his birth.
Consequently, he posed two legal questions for the court to determine, while citing provisions in the constitution supporting his claim. One of the legal issues read thus:
“Whether by the combined interpretation of sections 1(1) & (2), 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, he can be cleared by the 2nd and 3rd Defendants to contest for the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria?”.
Atiku Abubakar, the PDP, and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) were cited AS the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd defendants in the matter.
Recall that sometime in 2019, a similar case, contesting the citizenship of Atiku Abubakar was raised. In fact, Abubakar Malami, the Attorney General of the Federation told the court that Atiku, was born on the 25th of November, 1946 at Jada which was at the time, in Northern Cameroon.
However, by the plebiscite of 1961, the town of Jada was incorporated into Nigeria.
Hence, it is argued that Atiku is only a Nigerian by virtue of the 1961 plebiscite, but not a Nigerian by birth. More so, his parents died before the 1961 plebiscite.
In other words, there should be some limitations to his right to hold public offices.
Do you think that this will be enough to disqualify Atiku from contesting in the forthcoming presidential elections, even when he has held other political offices?
Share your thoughts and opinion in the comments section below.