The Adamawa Government has told a Federal High Court, Abuja, that former Vice President Atiku Abubakar was eligible to vie for the office of the president.
The Attorney-General of Adamawa, Afraimu Jingi, told Justice Inyang Ekwo while moving a motion on notice, seeking to be joined in the suit filed by a group against Atiku and three others.
The group, an Incorporated Trustees of Egalitarian Mission for Africa (EMA), in a suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/177/2019 had sued Atiku, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) as 1st to 4th respondents respectively.
EMA is challenging Atiku’s eligibility to contest for presidency on the grounds that he was not a Nigerian citizen by birth.
The group asked the court to hold among others, that considering the provisions of Sections 25(1) &(2) and 131(a) of the constitution and the circumstances surrounding the former vice president’s birth, he cannot contest for the top office.
But Jingi, through his lawyer, Chief L.D. Nzadon, in the motion dated April 26 and filed June 24, sought an order of the court to be joined in the matter.
Moving the motion, Nzadon based his argument on 21 grounds.
The lawyer described the matter as “a public interest suit to ensure that the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) is complied with in the election of the President of Nigeria.”
He said the Adamawa AG is a chief law officer of the state who must be brought in as a party.
According to him, this matter can not be effectively and conclusively determined unless the Attorney General of Adamawa is joined as a party.
Nzadon said Atiku, against whom the suit was primarily directed, is a citizen of Nigeria from Adamawa who had been elected as a Governor of the state in 1999 and served as the vice president of the country between 1999 to 2007.
He said the suit threatens the right of not just the ex-vice president to contest the office of the president “but that of the citizens of Nigeria of Adamawa State origin covering 12 out of the 21 Local Government Areas in the state.”
The lawyer listed the local government areas to include Ganye, Jada, Toungo, part of Mayo-Belwa, part of Fufore, part of Song, part of Hong, Maiha, Mubi-North, Mubi-South, Michika and Madagali.
He said the total population of the citizens of Nigeria from Adamawa who would be affected by the outcome of the suit was about 2 million people going by the 2006 National Population Census.
According to him, Adamawa has the highest number of Nigerian citizens from the former Trust Territories of Northern Cameroon of the three states that have such citizens, to wit: Adamawa, Taraba and Borno States.
The lawyer said it would be extremely difficult to get each one of these Nigerian citizens to defend this action in court.
Since the counsel to other parties in the suit did not oppose the motion, Justice Ekwo granted the prayer.
The judge, who gave the applicant seven days to file and serve all their processes, adjourned the matter until Sept. 27 for a hearing of the substantive suit.
This article was originally published on Nigeria News