The All Progressives Congress (APC), Nigeria’s ruling party, has prayed the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal to strike out Atiku Abubakar’s petition against President Muhammadu Buhari’s re-election on the ground that he is not a Nigerian by birth.
Naija News reports that the ruling party made the demand on Thursday, June 13, before the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal headed by Justice Mohammed Lawal Garba.
This online news recalls Abubakar, a former Vice President of Nigeria, contested the February 23 Presidential election on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Nigeria’s main opposition party.
Abubakar and the PDP approached the tribunal seeking his declaration, as the rightful winner of the election.
Counsel to the APC, Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), made the call while responding to the petitioners’ motion seeking the striking out of APC’s reply to the petition.
His words: “My Lords, I am opposing this application on the qualification of the first petitioner (Abubakar). I am standing by the proof we have supplied in our reply.
“The candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the Feb.23 presidential election was not qualified to contest the election in the first place.
“I, therefore, pray the tribunal to strike out the petitioners’ application for lacking in competence and merit,’’ Fagbemi said.
APC which is the third respondent insisted that Abubakar was not a citizen of Nigeria by birth and ought not to have even been allowed in the first place to contest the election.
Counsel for the petitioners, Chief Chris Uche (SAN), while adopting the application, argued that historical records showed that the former vice president was a citizen of Nigeria by birth.
He, therefore, urged the panel to discountenance Fagbemi’s submission by granting the application.
Naija News recalls that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on February 27, announced President Buhari, who is the second respondent, the winner of the election scoring 15,191,847 votes to defeat his closest rival, Atiku, with 11,262,978 votes.
However, the PDP claimed in an affidavit, that its candidate instead polled a total of 18,356,732 votes defeating Buhari who scored 16,741,430 votes.
Justice Mohammed Garba, who presided over the matter on Thursday, reserved ruling on the motions and subsequently adjourned further proceedings on the petition until June 24.