The Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, has dismissed claims that he is not a Nigerian by birth and was not qualified to seek to occupy the office of the President.
The PDP candidate had gone to court to challenge the victory of President Muhammadu Buhari, his APC rival at the poll.
But the ruling party told the presidential election petitions tribunal that Atiku is not a Nigerian by birth and thus, not qualified to run for president, going by the provisions of the 1999 constitution.
In a joint reply he filed with the PDP in reaction to the response filed by the APC against their petition before the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal (PEPT) sitting at the Court of Appeal in Abuja, Atiku detailed “how he is a Nigerian by birth”, saying he has a right to contest the presidential election.
In a statement sent to Naija News, Atiku argued that it was late in the day for the APC to query his qualification for the election, having not done so at the pre-election stage.
He also argued that his parents were both Fulani, a community/tribe indigenous to Nigeria.
Read full submission below:
In further response to paragraphs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 8 of the 3rd Respondent’s Reply, the Petitioners state as follows:
The 1st Petitioner (Abubakar) was born on 25th November 1946 in Jada, Adamawa State by Nigerian Parents and he is, therefore, a citizen of Nigeria by Birth.
The 1st Petitioner’s father, Garba Atiku Abdulkadir was a Nigerian by Birth who hailed from Wumo in present-day Sokoto State while the mother, Aisha Kande was also a Nigerian who hailed from Dutse in present-day Jigawa State.
The parents of the 1st Petitioner are both Fulani, a community/tribe indigenous to Nigeria. The birth of the 1st Petitioner in Jada, in present-day Adamawa State of Nigeria was occasioned by the movement of his paternal grandfather called Atiku who was an itinerant trader, from Wumo in present-day Sokoto State to Jada in the company of his friend, Ardo Usman.
That in Jada, Atiku, the grandfather of the 1st Petitioner gave birth to Garba who in tum gave birth to the 1st Petitioner and named him after his own father Atiku.
The 1st Petitioner’s mother, Aisha Kande was the grand-daughter of Inuwa Dutse who came to Jada as an itinerant trader too from Dutse in present-day JigawaState.
That all averments concerning Germany, British Cameroons, League of Nations and Plebiscite are false and misleading in relation to the 1st Petitioner and therefore completely irrelevant more so that the 1st Petitioner is a Nigerian by birth within the contemplation of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).
viii. The averments in the aforesaid paragraphs are indeed fabricated, contrived, made in bad faith and designed to embarrass the 1st Petitioner.
In response to paragraph 7 of the 3rd Respondent’s (APC) Reply, the Petitioners aver that the votes of the 1st Petitioner in the Election of 23rd February 2019 to the office of the President are not wasted votes, and the 1st Petitioner being a qualified candidate in the said Election indeed secured majority of lawful votes over and above the votes of the 2nd Respondent.
In further reaction to Paragraph 7 of the 3rd Respondent Reply, the Petitioners hereby plead and contend that at all times material the 1st Petitioner has been a Nigerian by birth and has participated in the following career and political activities and has also received the following awards and honours:
. the 1st Petitioner was a civil servant in the Nigerian Customs Service for over 20 years and retired as a Deputy Director.
. the 1st Petitioner has been a Nigerian politician for about 30 years and in 1992 he contested in the Presidential Primaries under the platform of the then Social Democratic Party (SDP) alongside the late Chief M.K.O Abiola and Ambassador Baba Gana Kingibe.
. the 1st Petitioner contested for and won the 1999 Gubernatorial election in Adamawa State under the platform of the 2nd Petitioner.
. the Former President Olusegun Obasanjo GCFR and the 1st Petitioner contested for and won the 1999 and 2003 Presidential Elections, respectively as President and Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria under the platform of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the 2nd Petitioner.
. the 1st Petitioner is the recipient of the National Honour of Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger(GCON).
. the 1st Petitioner was the traditional title holder of Turakin Adamawa from 1982 to 2017 when he was elevated to WazirinAdamawa.
In 2007, the 1st Petitioner contested Presidential election under the platform of Action Congress (AC) and the 2nd Respondent (Buhari) contested under the platform of the All Nigeria Peoples’ Party (ANPP).
In 2014, the 1st Petitioner and the 2nd Respondent contested the Presidential Primaries of the All Progressives Congress (APC), the 3rd Respondent for the 2015 Presidential Elections.
In reaction to paragraph 10 of the 3rd Respondent’s (APC) Reply, the Petitioners contend that there was no admission of conspiracy and criminality by the Petitioners and reference to the admission of conspiracy and criminality is false and unfounded.