Legal Nigeria

Court to decide status of Atiku’s citizenship Feb 21

By Ameh Ochojila

Atiku. Photo/Facebook/Atiku Abubakar

A Federal High Court in Abuja, yesterday, fixed February 21, 2022 to deliver judgment in a suit filed by the Incorporated Trustees of Egalitarian Mission for Africa querying the Nigerian citizenship of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar.

The group had asked the court to disqualify Atiku as presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and prevent him from contesting the February 16, 2019 election over alleged circumstances surrounding his citizenship.

The suit, which has Atiku, PDP, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice as well as the Attorney General of Adamawa State as defendants, is seeking interpretation of Sections 25(1) & (2) and 131(a) of the 1999 Constitution.

It also wants the court to determine, “Whether Section 25 of the Constitution 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, only a Nigerian citizen by birth can contest for the office of president.

“Whether by the combined interpretation of Sections 25(1) & (2) and 131(a) of the Constitution and given the circumstances surrounding the birth of Atiku, he can be cleared by PDP and INEC to contest for office of the president.”

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