Court set To Hears Suit On Atiku’s Citizenship Sept 27

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Federal High Court, Abuja yesterday fixed September 27, 2021, to hear a suit filed by the Incorporated Trustees of Egalitarian Mission for Africa, challenging the citizenship of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar.

The plaintiff instituted the suit in 2019 challenging Atiku’s eligibility to contest for president. When the matter was called, counsel to the plaintiff, Mr Akinola Oladimeji, told the court that he was not prepared to go on with it.

Oladimeji told the court that it was only on Wednesday that he got wind of the fact that the matter had been slated for hearing on Thursday since the next adjourn date known to him was Sept. 20.

The judge, Justice Inyang Ekwo then sought to find out from the court registrar if parties had been informed of the date and the registrar responded in the affirmative.

The judge in a short ruling said that he was not happy that he gave a date for hearing, which had become a subject of controversy.

He, however, adjourned the matter until Sept. 27 and warned the plaintiff that it would be the last adjournment for his client.

NAN reports that the plaintiff, a civil society organisation in suit no. FHC/ABJ/CS/177/2019 is challenging the citizenship of Abubakar on the grounds that he was not born in Nigeria.

The plaintiff joined the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP), the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC) and the Attorney-General of the Federation as co-defendants in the suit.

The plaintiff formulated the following questions for determination by the court:

“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 office of the president.”

Atiku had objected to the plaintiff’s right to challenge his nationality, arguing that it failed to show the interest it had above other citizens of Nigeria to be entitled to approach the court on the issue. (NAN)

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