Court strikes out suit challenging Atiku’s eligibility
A federal high court in Abuja says struck out a suit challenging former Vice President Abubakar Atiku’s eligibility to contest the office of presudent. He described the plaintiff as ‘a busy body’, who lacks ‘locus standi’ to institute the suit.
The plaintiff, the Incorporated Trustees of Egalitarian Mission for Africa, the plaintiff, had filed the suit in 2019, challenging Atiku’s eligibility to contest for president on the premise that he is not a Nigerian citizen by birth.
The respondents are Atiku, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, and Abubakar Malami, the attorney-general of the federation (AGF).
The plaintiff argued that Atiku was ineligible to contest the presidency, based on the provisions of sections 25 (1) & (2) and 131(a) of the constitution and circumstances surrounding his birth.
While the suit lasted, Malami deposed to an affidavit supporting the plaintiff’s contention.
However, the plaintiff failed to convince the judge. In her ruling, Ekwo described the plaintiff as a “busy body”, who had no locus standi to query the citizenship of the former vice-president.
The judge held that the NGO, having been registered under Company and Allied Matters Act with and special functions, cannot jump into public interest litigation that is not part of its objectives.
He cautioned NGOs to refrain from filing frivolous applications targeted at harassing politically-exposed Nigerians.