2023 Presidency: Court Strikes Out Suit Challenging Atiku’s Nigerian Citizenship Status

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Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court in Abuja has dismissed a suit challenging former Vice President Atiku Abubakar’s citizenship status.

The Judge, on Monday, struck out the suit instituted by a non-governmental organisation, Incorporated Trustees of Egalitarian Mission for Africa, challenging Atiku Abubakar’s Nigerian citizenship.

The court held that the NGO had no legal right to query the citizenship of the former Vice President and lacks the locus standi to institute the legal action.

According to Justice Ekwo, the NGO was registered under the Company and Allied Matters Act with special functions and cannot jump into public interest litigation that was not part of the objective.

He cautioned the NGO to refrain from filing frivolous applications targeted at harrassing politically exposed Nigerians.

In the suit, the group had asked the court to disqualify Atiku as the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and to restrain him from contesting the February 16, 2019, presidential election over alleged circumstances surrounding his citizenship.

By the suit, the plaintiff prayed for “A declaration that by the combined interpretation of Sections 25(l) & (2) and 131(a) of the Constitution and given the circumstances surrounding Atiku’s birth, he cannot be cleared by PDP and INEC to contest for the post of President.”

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