Lawyer seeks to disqualify Atiku in Fresh Suit, queries his citizenship
Posted: 01/Jun/2022

Abuja based lawyer, Johnmary Jideobi, Esq. on Tuesday, approached the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja to challenge the eligibility of former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, to contest the 2023 presidential election.

The plaintiff, in the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/751/2022, maintained that Atiku, who is the flag-bearer of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, is not constitutionally qualified to participate in the presidential contest.
 
Consequently, he posed two legal questions for the court to determine, and seeking the determination of seven reliefs against Atiku, PDP and the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, who were cited as 1st, 2nd and 3rd defendants in the matter.

In the court documents the Attorney-General of the Federation was also joined as the 4th defendant.

Specifically, the plaintiff, wants the court to determine; “Whether by the combined provisions of sections 1(1) & (2), 25 and 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?”.

And, “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?”.

The reliefs as listed in the court papers includes;

1. A SOLEMN DECLARATION that by virtue of Sections 1(1) & (2), 25 and 131(a) of the amended 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, it is only a Nigerian citizen by birth that is constitutionally eligible to contest for the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

2. A SOLEMN DECLARATION of this Honourable Court that given the circumstances of the birth of the 1st Defendant, he is not constitutionally qualified to stand for election into the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

3. AN ORDER of this Honourable Court disqualifying the first Defendant – Atiku Abubakar – from contesting for election to the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

4. A DECLARATION that the 2nd Defendant (the PDP) does not have a candidate for the office of the President in the 2023 Presidential Election to be organised by the 3rd Defendant.

5. AN ORDER OF PERPETUAL INJUNCTION of this Honourable Court restraining the 1st Defendant from contesting for the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria or occupying the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria by whatever means and throughout his lifetime.

6. AN ORDER OF PERPETUAL INJUNCTION of this Honourable Court restraining the 2nd Defendant from fielding or presenting the 1st Defendant as its candidate for the 2023 Presidential election in Nigeria for the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

7. AN ORDER OF PERPETUAL INJUNCTION of this Honourable Court restraining the 3rd Defendant from accepting and or publishing the name of the 1st Defendant as a candidate of the 2nd Defendant for the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in the forthcoming 2023 Presidential election