The All Progressives Congress (APC) said the defeated candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the presidential election, Alhaji Abubakar Atiku, is not a Nigerian.
The ruling APC declared this to the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal in Abuja yesterday while responding to petition authored by Atiku challenging the declaration of President Muhammadu Buhari as winner of the presidential election by Independent Electoral Commission, INEC.
The former VP in the petition claimed he was robbed by INEC and the APC urging the court to declare him winner of the election.
But a new twist was added to the matter on Friday by the ruling APC as the party claimed Atiku was unfit to have contested for Nigeria’s president on account of his birth.
The party argued that Atiku is not a Nigerian by birth and so was not qualified to contest the last presidential election.
It contended that by Section 131(a) of the Constitution, a person must be a citizen of Nigeria by birth to be qualified to contest the office of the President of the country.
The party noted that Atiku was born on November 25, 1946 in Jada, now Adamawa State, then in Northern Cameroon, “and is, therefore, a citizen of Cameroon.”
The petition reads in part, “The 1st petitioner is not a citizen of Nigeria by birth and ought not to have even been allowed, in the first place, to contest the election.
“From available records, the lst petitioner was born on the 25th November, 1946 in Jada, Adamawa, in Northern Cameroon, and is therefore a citizen of Cameroon.
“His father was Garba Atiku Abdulkadir, 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.
“British Cameroons was administered by the British from neighbouring Nigeria.
“In 1961, a plebiscite was held in British Cameroons to determine whether the people preferred to stay in Cameroon or align with Nigeria. “While Northern Cameroon preferred a union with Nigeria, Southern Cameroon chose alignment with the mother country.
“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 became a citizen of Nigeria, but not by birth.
“The 1st petitioner, therefore, contrary to the assertion in Paragraph 1 of their petition, had no right to be voted for as a candidate in the election to the office of President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria held on 23rd February, 2019 across Nigeria.”
Recall that Nnamdi Kalu, leader of secessionist group, Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, had in the run up to the Presidential election said the same thing about Atiku.