Atiku Abubakar, candidate of the Peoples Democratic party (PDP) in the 2019 presidential election, should have been ineligible to contest in the first place because he is not a Nigerian, the All Progressives Congress (APC) has said.
APC made this argument in its reply to the 139-page petition filed by Atiku and his party before the presidential election petition tribunal in Abuja.
In the reply, filed by Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), its lead counsel, the party said Atiku was born in Jada, now Adamawa State but then in Northern Cameroon as of his birth in 1946, and is therefore a citizen of Cameroon.
It accused the PDP of fielding a non-Nigerian as its candidate, and also faulted the competence of the petition.
APC urged the tribunal to dismiss PDP’s petition for incompetence, arguing that Section 131(a) of the Constitution stipulates that a person must be a citizen of Nigeria by birth to be qualified to contest for the office of the President.
“Atiku is not a citizen of Nigeria by birth and ought not to have even been allowed in the first place to contest the election,” it said.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had declared President Muhammadu Buhari, candidate of the APC, winner of the election for polling 15,191,847 votes against Atiku’s 11,262,978 votes.
However, Atiku and the APC are claiming that from the data in INEC’s server, Atiku actually polled a total of 18,356,732 votes while Buhari recorded 16,741,430.