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2023: Court fixes date to hear suit querying Atiku Abubakar’s citizenship

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The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has slated July 20 to hear the fresh suit that is challenging the eligibility of former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, to contest the 2023 presidential election.

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The court, in a ruling that was delivered by Justice Taiwo Taiwo, ordered substituted service of all the legal processes on Atiku to enable him to respond to the suit.

It directed that the former VP, who is the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, should be served within seven days, through publication of the court processes in a national daily.

Specifically, the plaintiff, asked 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?”.

As well as, “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?”.

Upon the determination of the questions, the plaintiff, prayed the court to declare 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.

“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.

“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.

“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.

“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.

“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.

Likewise, “An order of perpetual injunction 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”.

On grounds upon which he is seeking the reliefs, the plaintiff, told the court that the 1st defendant (Atiku) acquired his citizenship of Nigeria by virtue of the 1961 plebiscite which integrated some people of Northern Cameroon into Nigeria as new citizens of Nigeria

“On the 28th day of May, 2022, the 1st Defendant emerged as the Candidate of the 2nd Defendant for the 2023 Presidential election following the primary election conducted by the 1st Defendant.

“Allowing the 1st Defendant to participant in the 2023 Presidential election as the Candidate of the 2nd Defendant would amount to a grave desecration of the otherwise sacrosanct and inviolable provisions of Sections 1(1) & (2), 25 and 131(a) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).

“The 3rd Defendant is under a bounden duty to ensure that the Federal Republic of Nigeria shall not be governed, nor shall any persons or group of persons take control of the Government of Nigeria or any part thereof except in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution.

“The Plaintiff is an Apostle of Rule of Law, an adherent of constitutionalism, social justice crusader and defender of Rule of Law.

“This suit is a public interest Litigation aimed at protecting the sanctity of the constitution being the supreme law of the land (suprema lex), to protect the public interest of seeing that constitutional supremacy as provided for in the constitution itself is enforced, adhered to and rendered not impotent or made mockery of”, the Plaintiff averred.

It will be recalled that a constitutional lawyer, Mr. Johnmary Jideobi had approached the court, contending that Atiku is not constitutionally qualified to participate in the presidential contest.

The Plaintiff, in the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/751/2022, posed two legal questions for the court to determine, after which he sought seven principal reliefs against Atiku, PDP and the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, who were cited as 1st, 2nd and 3rd defendants in the matter.

The Attorney-General of the Federation was also joined as the 4th defendant.

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Politics

Cracks in APC as 20 senators plan to defect to PDP, NNPP others

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No fewer than 20 senators are set to dump the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and other political parties.

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The ruling party, which had earlier lost over 10 senators to the opposition parties is troubled by the wave of defection as more lawmakers that lost their return tickets to the National Assembly during the party primaries are set to leave the party.

On Wednesday, June 22, 2022, Senator Dauda Haliru Jika representing Bauchi Central, announced his defection to the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP).

Worried by the wave of defection in the party, the National Chairman of the APC, Abdullahi Adamu, met with the APC senators behind closed doors at the National Assembly complex, Abuja yesterday.

Speaking to journalists after the meeting, Adamu admitted that the APC is worried about the development.

The meeting with the senators was most fruitful. The issue of defection is an unfortunate development when it happens but this is a season where there are all sorts of behaviour in the political space and ours is not an exception.

“In every election year, this kind of thing gives cause for stakeholders to sneeze and Nigeria is not an exception so is the APC, not an exception. I don’t care about what is happening in other parties, my focus is on the APC. But we all know that the occurrence is not only happening in the APC, it’s happening across other political parties too. And because we are the ruling party, our problems are exaggerated before the public.

“There is no responsible leader that would not be worried when he loses one member not to talk of two. At the moment we are faced with the stark reality of our problems. I have committed my colleagues at the National Assembly to face the problem squarely and see the problem as solvable. We are in politics, I don’t know what would happen tomorrow, and nobody does,” he said.

According to Punch, a source in the National Assembly disclosed that not lesser than 20 senators are planning to leave the APC within the next week.

“The party chairman came to have a meeting with the APC senators because he said that they learnt through intelligence that not lesser than 20 more senators were planning to defect to other parties within the next one week.

“The chairman asked each of the aggrieved senators to lay bare their grievances which we all did one after the other. Having heard our problems, the chairman instructed that we put them into writing,” the source said.

The lawmaker said during Adamu’s meeting with them, the party chairman asked the senators to put their complaints into writing and promised to address all issues raised.

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Bala Mohammed meets Nyesom Wike in Port Harcourt [Photos]

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Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed, has held a closed-door meeting with his Rivers State counterpart, Gov. Nyesom Wike.

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The National Vice Chairman of the PDP, South-South Dan Orbih was also part of the meeting.

The meeting with Bala Mohammed came after pictures of the Presidential candidate of the Labour party, Peter Obi meeting with Wike in his country home emerged online.

Obi says his visit to Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State was for the duo to discuss vital national issues.

Earlier today, I visited Port Harcourt, to confer with H.E. @GovWike on vital issues of national interest,” Obi’s tweet, shared alongside photos of him and the Rivers leader, read.

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Peter Obi explains why he visited Wike

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Peter Obi, the Presidential candidate of the Labour Party says he visited Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State to discuss vital issues of national interest with him.

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Obi’s visit to Wike in Port Harcourt on Wednesday, June 22, 2022, sparked a conversation on social media as many believe the meeting was about the forthcoming 2023 elections.

But hours after the meeting, the former governor Anambra took to Twitter to explain the reason he held a meeting with Wike behind closed doors.

“Earlier today, I visited Port Harcourt, to confer with H.E. @GovWike on vital issues of national interest,” Obi tweeted.

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