The All Progressives Congress (APC) has told the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal in Abuja that the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, is not qualified to contest for election because he is not a Nigerian.
APC claimed that the former Vice President is a Camerounian and his petition against Muhammadu Buhari, candidate of the APC, should be dismissed for lacking in merit.
The position of the APC filed by its lead counsel, Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), faulted the candidacy of Atiku in the election insisting that as a Camerounian, he ought not to have taken part in the presidential poll of Nigeria in the first instance.
The party claimed that Atiku was born on November 25, 1946 in Jada, Adamawa, in Northern Cameroun and is, therefore, a citizen of Cameroun and not a Nigerian by birth.
The APC, in a historical analysis of the nationality controversy, claimed that prior to 1919, Cameroon was being administered by Germany and that following the defeat of Germany in World War 1, which ended in 1918, Cameroun became part of a League of Nations mandate territory which consisted of French Cameroun and British Cameroun in 1919. APC further argued that in 1961, a plebiscite was held in British Cameroon to determine whether the people preferred to stay in Cameroun or align with Nigeria.
According to the party, while Northern Cameroun preferred a union with Nigeria, the Southern Cameroon chose alignment with the mother country and that it was as a result of the plebiscite that Northern Cameroun, which included Adamawa, became a part of Nigeria.
APC, therefore, said that contrary to the assertion of Atiku in his petition, he (Atiku) had no right to be voted for as a candidate in the election to the office of President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria held on February 23, 2019.
The party averred that by reason of Atiku not having qualified to contest the election, all votes purportedly cast for him and the PDP in the February 23 election are wasted votes. Besides the issue of the origin of Atiku Abubakar, the APC asserted that most of the claims contained in Atiku’s petition have become statute barred and that the Tribunal is not the appropriate forum to entertain same.