By Olalekan Awojodu, Abuja
A new suit challenging the eligibility of former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, to contest the 2023 presidential election has been slated for the July 20, 2022 for hearing.
In a ruling delivered by Justice Taiwo Taiwo of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, the court also ordered a substituted service of all the legal processes on Alhaji Atiku to enable him to respond to the suit.
The judge held further that the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP), should be served within seven days, through publication of the court processes in a national daily.
Before now, a constitutional lawyer, Mr. Johnmary Jideobi who is plaintiff in the matter had in the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/751/2022 approached the court, contending that Atiku is not constitutionally qualified to participate in the presidential contest.
In the suit, two legal questions were posed for the court to determine, after which he sought seven principal reliefs against Atiku, PDP and the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, who were cited as 1st, 2nd and 3rd defendants in the matter.
The Attorney-General of the Federation was also joined as the 4th defendant.
Specifically, the plaintiff, asked the court to determine; “Whether by the combined provisions of Sections 1(1) & (2), 25 and 131(a) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), only a Nigeria citizen by birth can contest for the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria?”.
As well as, “Whether by the combined interpretation of sections 1(1) & (2), 25(1) & (2) and 131(a) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), and giving the circumstances surrounding the birth of the 1st Defendant, he can be cleared by the 2nd and 3rd Defendants to contest for the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria?”.