2023 - The court has been instructed to disqualify Atiku from standing for president.


A Federal High Court in Abuja, Nigeria's capital, has been petitioned to rule that Alhaji Atiku Abubakar is ineligible to run for president in the upcoming election.

Following his victory in the presidential primary election of the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, an Abuja-based lawyer, Johnmary Jideobi, dragged the former Vice President of Nigeria to court.

After receiving 371 votes, Atiku became the PDP's presidential candidate for the 2023 general elections, defeating his closest rival, Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, who received 237 votes.

Despite serving as vice president from 1999 to 2007, Johnmary Jideobi is challenging Atiku's Nigerian citizenship in his lawsuit.

The PDP, the Independent National Electoral Commission, and the Attorney General of the Federation, AGF, are also named as defendants in the complaint.

Jideobi claimed in his lawsuit that Atiku is not a Nigerian citizen by birth, as required by the country's statutes, and hence is ineligible to run for President.

According to him, the former Vice President "earned his Nigerian citizenship in the 1961 plebiscite that integrated some people from Northern Cameroon into Nigeria as new citizens of Nigeria."

The plaintiff further informed the court that allowing Atiku to run for president as the PDP candidate in 2023 would be a severe breach of the otherwise sacred and inviolable provisions of Sections 1(1) & (2), 25, and 131(a) of the Constitution.

He further stated that the court must guarantee that the INEC does not enable any individual or group of individuals to seize control of the Nigerian government or any portion of it until they do so in compliance with the Constitution's provisions.

Jideobi further asked the court to declare that "it is only a Nigerian citizen by birth who is constitutionally eligible to stand for the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria," citing Sections 1(1) & (2), 25 and 131(a) of the Constitution.

He further requested that the court determine that the "PDP does not have a presidential candidate in the 2023 presidential election to be organised by the third defendant."

He requested a perpetual injunction prohibiting the former Vice President and PDP presidential candidate from running for or occupying the office of President of Nigeria by any means, as well as an order prohibiting the PDP from fielding Atiku as its candidate for the 2023 presidential election and an order prohibiting the INEC from accepting and or publishing Atiku's name as a PDP presidential candidate for the office of President of Nigeria.

In the meanwhile, no date has been set for the case's hearing.


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