Political weights in the Presidency aided by the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, are intensifying plans to drown Alhaji Atiku Abubakar’s 2023 presidential ambition with a court order that would label him a citizen of Cameroon and ineligible for the contest.
SaharaReporters gathered from top sources that the eventual plan of the Aso Rock conspirators and the AGF is to have Atiku deported to Cameroon, away from the country during the 2023 elections.
Although the AGF has denied instituting any citizenship case against former Vice president Atiku, sources said Malami and his cohorts are acting through proxies and non-governmental organisations which are positioned to actualise the drowning of Atiku’s presidential ambition.
“I can confirm to you that the cabals are planning to deport Atiku. The AGF lied that he never filed anything or instituted the case against Atiku but as you could see, he filed a brief to support the non-governmental organisation that instigated it. You know he (Malami) too wants to run for President. It is a cabal thing.
“It is real. They are planning to condemn Atiku to Cameroon and the plan is hatching soon,” one of the top sources revealed.
Only on April 1, the AGF told a Federal High Court in Abuja that Atiku was not eligible to run for president in Nigeria.
Malami had stated this in an affidavit in support of a suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/177/2019 and filed before the court by the Incorporated Trustees of Egalitarian Mission for Africa (EMA).
In 2019, the EMA instituted the suit challenging Atiku’s eligibility to contest for president.
The organisation is asking the court to hold among others, that considering the provisions of sections 25(1) &(2) and 131(a) of the 1999 constitution and the circumstances surrounding his birth, Atiku could not contest for the top office.
The AGF through his legal team, led by Oladipo Okpeseyi, noted that Atiku is not a Nigerian citizen by birth.
“The first defendant (Atiku) is not qualified to contest to be president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” Malami submitted.
“The first defendant is not a fit and proper person to be a candidate for election to the office of president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“The first defendant was born on the 25th of November, 1946 at Jada, at the time in Northern Cameroon. By the plebiscite of 1961, the town of Jada was incorporated into Nigeria.
“The first defendant is a Nigerian by virtue of the 1961 plebiscite, but not a Nigerian by birth. The first defendant’s parents died before the 1961 plebiscite.”
Malami said the effect of the June 1, 1961 plebiscite was to have the people of Northern Cameroon integrated into Nigeria as new citizens of the country, even after Nigeria’s independence.
“This qualified all those born before the 1961 plebiscIte as citizens of Nigeria, but not Nigerian citizen by birth. Consequently, only citizens born after the 1961 plebiscite are citizens of Nigeria by birth,” he added.
Citing the provisions of 1960, 1963, 1979 and 1999 constitutions Malami had said the “reasoning of the lawmakers in ensuring that the persons to be the president of Nigeria is a citizen of Nigeria by birth is because such a person is the number one citizen and the image of the Nigerian state.”
“This is even more so where his parents do not belong to any tribe indigenous to Nigeria until their death,” he said.
“The facts of his (Atiku’s) birth on the Cameroonian territory to Cameroonian parents remain unchallenged.
“At best, the first defendant can only acquire Nigerian citizenship by the 1961 plebiscite. The citizenship qualifications under Section 26 and 27 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (1999), by implication, has limited the first defendant’s privileges or rights and cannot be equal or proportional to the privileges of other citizens who acquire their citizenship status by birth.
“This would include the legal preclusion of the first defendant from contesting for the office of the President of Nigeria.
“If either his parents had become Nigerian citizen by virtue of Section 25(1) of the 1999 Constitution, which must be in compliance with Sections 26 and 27of the same constitution.
“With no concrete proof of compliance, we submit that the first defendant cannot contest election to the office of the Nigerian President.”
On April 7, a group, Amalgamated Atiku Support Group, had knocked the AGF for working outside the dictates of his office as the chief law officer of the nation.
Malami, despite obvious evidence, had claimed he did not file any suit challenging Atiku’s citizenship in court.