Politics

Atiku is a Cameroonian, not a Nigerian; APC tells Tribunal

Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar

The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in its reply to the petition filed against it by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, the PDP presidential candidate, said that Atiku is not a Nigerian.

APC noted that Atiku is not a Nigerian citizen, but a Cameroonian.

The ruling party said that Atiku who was a Vice President is a Cameroonian and “not a citizen of Nigeria by birth and ought not to have even been allowed in the first place, to contest the election”.

APC further faulted the claim by the PDP that it obtained the original presidential election results from the server of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The APC in its response to the petition at the Tribunal urged the court to “dismiss the petition with substantial cost as same is devoid of any merit and also founded on frivolity, having not been initiated bonafide but on palpable abuse of judicial process”.

Atiku alleged that he won the February 23 presidential election with over 1.5million votes (PDP said Atiku got 18,356,732 votes while Buhari got 16,741,430 votes). But INEC had announced that President Muhammadu Buhari of the APC got 15,191,847 votes, while Atiku got 11,262,978 votes.

The APC however in its reply through its lead counsel, Mr. Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), said that the alleged INEC server results were not legitimate.

“The 3rd respondent denies the averment and allegation contained in paragraph 21 of the petition and states that the purported data in the 1st respondent’s server (INEC) and the purported computation of results on state-to-state basis under the scores of the 1st petitioner (Atiku) and 2nd petitioner (PDP) are not legitimate and same are not products of any lawful election and conducted by the 1st respondent (INEC).

“The 3rd respondent states further that, no person or body in Nigeria, apart from the 1st respondent is saddled with the statutory duty of conducting elections and declaring results.

“The 3rd respondent states further that, it is only the results declared for the parties by the 1st respondent that is authentic.

“The petitioners are put to the strictest proof of the averment.”

The ruling party further noted that Atiku was not a Nigerian by birth and is therefore not qualified to contest for the Office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

APC said that record shows that Atiku was born on November 26, 1946, in Jada Adamawa State, Northern Cameroon.

“His father was Garba Atiku Abdukadir who died in December 1957.

“Prior to 1919, Cameroon was being administered by Germany.

“But following the defeat of Germany in World War I which ended in 1918, Cameroon became a League of Nations mandate territory which was split into French Cameroons and British Cameroons in 1919.”

APC noted that the British Cameroons was administering from Nigeria, adding that the Northern Cameroon included Adamawa which eventually preferred a union with Nigeria.

“The transition took place on June 1, 1961.It was as a result of that plebiscite that Northern Cameroon which included Adamawa became a part of Nigeria and by derivation, the 1st petitioner (Atiku) became a citizen of Nigeria but not by birth.”

Consequently, the ruling party said that Atiku “had no right to be voted for as a candidate in the election to the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria held on February 23, 2019 across Nigeria”.

APC alleged that all the votes casted for Atiku in the election were wasted votes, saying that Buhari “was duly elected by majority of lawful votes cast at the election”, adding that “there was no infraction during the electoral process.”

Mr. Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), had before the presidential election said that Atiku was not a Nigerian but a Cameroonian.

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