Court adjourns suit challenging Atiku’s eligibility to vie for presidency

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The federal high court in Abuja has fixed December 6 to hear a suit challenging the citizenship of Atiku Abubakar, former vice-president.

Incorporated Trustees of Egalitarian Mission for Africa, the plaintiff, had filed the suit in 2019 and challenged Abubakar’s eligibility to contest for president.The group joined the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), and Abubakar Malami, the attorney-general of the federation (AGF), as co-defendants in the suit.The plaintiff had told the court that considering the provisions of sections 25(1) &(2) and 131(a) of the constitution and the circumstances surrounding his birth, the former vice-president cannot contest for the top office.

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Malami, in an affidavit to support the suit, had said Abubakar was not a Nigerian citizen by birth and therefore, not eligible to run for president in Nigeria.Inyang Ekwo, presiding judge, had in July, granted the prayer of the Adamawa state government to be joined in the suit.At the resumed court session which was scheduled for hearing on Monday, Raphael Oyewole, plaintiff’s counsel, prayed the court for an extension of time to enable him to serve processes on some of the parties in the suit.

Displeased, the judge asked, “When was the case adjourned?”“It was adjourned on June 4, my lord,” Oyewole replied.In response, the judge said: “This is a matter you filed since 2019, and you are just filing your processed this morning after the last adjournment.”The judge subsequently adjourned the matter until December 6 for continuation.

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