Atiku is not a Nigerian, APC tells tribunal

Atiku Abubakar

All Progressives Congress (APC) on Friday replied the petition filed by Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, before the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal.

APC said Atiku should not have been allowed to file the petition on grounds that he is “not a citizen of Nigeria by birth.”

The party also faulted the petitioners’ claim that they obtained the authentic results of the February 23 presidential election from the server of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) which they said showed that they won the election.

INEC had declared Muhammadu Buhari of APC winner of the election after it said Buhari polled 15, 191, 847 votes to defeat his closest rival, Atiku, whom it said polled 11, 262, 978 votes.

But Atiku and PDP said the original figures on the commission’s server showed he (Atiku) got a total of 18, 356, 732 votes to defeat Buhari whom they said scored 16, 741, 430 votes.

Lead counsel for the respondents, Lateef Fagbemi, said the data and computation of results on state-to-state basis given by PDP were illegitimate.

On Atiku’s nationality, APC said that records show Atiku “was born on November 26, 1946, in Jada Adamawa, in Northern Cameroon and was therefore a citizen of Cameroon.”

It added: “His father was Garba Atiku Abdukadir 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.”

It also said that following a plebiscite held in 1961, Northern Cameroon, which it said included Adamawa, preferred a union with Nigeria, while Southern Cameroon chose alignment with the mother country.

On that note, APC maintained that Atiku “had no right to be voted for as a candidate in the election to the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria held on February 23 , 2019 across Nigeria.”