The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), has told a Federal High Court in Abuja that former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, is ineligible to vie to be president of Nigeria.
Malami said Abubakar, whose home town, Jada, was formerly a part of Northern Cameroon, is not constitutionally qualified to contest for the office of president of the country because he is not a Nigerian by birth and that he acquired Nigerian citizenship following a plebiscite that held in 1961.
The AGF 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, the former Vice President would be violating Section 118(1)(k) of the Electoral Act should he put himself forward as a presidential candidate.
He argued: “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.”
The suit was filed against Abubakar by a group under the aegis of Incorporated Trustees of Egalitarian Mission for Africa.
Other defendants in the suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/177, are the Peoples Democratic Party, Independent National Electoral Commission and Malami.
Abubakar and the PDP have since asked the court to dismiss the suit, which they said was grossly lacking in merit.
In a preliminary objection be jointly filed by them, the PDP and Abubakar maintained that he is “a bonafide citizen of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”