Atiku not a Nigerian by birth; not qualified to contest for presidency – AGF

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AGF Malami

The Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami SAN, says former Vice President Atiku Abubakar is not eligible to be President of Nigeria as he is not a Nigerian by birth.

The AGF told a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja while responding to a suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/177 and filed against Atiku by a group under the aegis of Incorporated Trustees of Egalitarian Mission for Africa.

Joined in the suit as defendants were the AGF, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Malami told the court that Atiku was born in Jada town, then in Northern Cameroon, in 1946.

He said that Jada, which is in present-day Adamawa State, became a part of Nigeria following a plebiscite in 1961.

The AGF further argued that Atiku acquired Nigerian citizenship by virtue of the plebiscite.

Malami further argued that having not been born a Nigerian or by Nigerian parents, and having not met the provisions of Sections 25(1) &(2) and 131(a) of the constitution, Atiku would be violating Section 118(1)(k) of the Electoral Act should he put himself forward as a presidential candidate.

“The first defendant (Atiku) was born on the 25th of November, 1946 at Jada, at the time in Northern Cameroon. By the plebiscite of 1961, the town of Jada was incorporated into Nigeria. The first defendant is a Nigerian by virtue of the 1961 plebiscite, but not a Nigerian by birth. The first defendant’s parents died before the 1961 plebiscite,” he argued.

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Atiku and PDP have urged the court to dismiss the suit, saying it lacked merit.

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