FORMER vice president Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has been confirmed as a bonafide Nigerian after the Presidential Election Tribunal sitting in Abuja dismissed a challenge from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) claiming he was a Cameroonian.
In a messy legal battle that has ensdu7ed between the APC and Alhaji Abubakar’s Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the two parties have been at each other’s throats since the February presidential elections. Alhaji Abubakar lost the elections to President Muhammadu Buhari but has refused to accept the result and sought legal redress before the election tribunal.
While the PDP has filed several suits challenging the election results, the eligibility of President Buhari to run and claims that the security forces were compromised, the APC fired back with suits of its own. One of the claims put forward by the APC was that Alhaji Abubakar was not qualified to run for president because he is from Cameroon and thus not a Nigerian.
Alhaji Abubakar’s family come from northern Adamawa State that was originally part of Cameroon but became part of Nigeria during World War One when the British seized it from Germany. In 1961, a referendum was held in the area and it agreed to become part of Nigeria and was subsequently incorporated into the then Northern Region.
In its suit, the APC cited this as evidence that Alhaji was not Nigerian and thus ineligible to stand for the presidency of Nigeria. However, the suit was dismissed by Justice Garba Mohammed who warned the APC not to divert the attention of the court.