OrderPaperToday – A lawyer and secretary of ‘Forward with Buhari’ campaign team, Mr. Kayode Ajulo, has disclosed plans to go to court to challenge the eligibility of Abubakar Atiku, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, to contest this weekend’s election.
Mr. Ajulo is of the view that Atiku is not fit to contest the presidential election, alleging he is not a Nigerian citizen by birth.
He said: “Atiku is from Jada town in Adamawa State of Nigeria. However, Jada used to be in Ganye Local Government Area in Adamawa. Ganye is regarded as the mother of the whole Chamba tribe. Jada is a town and Local Government Area of Adamawa State, Nigeria. Jada as a Local Government Area was created from Ganye Local Government Area of Adamawa state, Nigeria.
“Ganye, however, was never part of Nigeria legally until the February 1961 plebiscite where the people of the then Northern Cameroon voted to join Nigeria. The area had been entrusted to Britain by a League of Nations mandate in 1919 and later as Trust Territory by the United Nations in 1946.
“With the defeat of Germany in World War I, Kamerun became a League of Nations mandate territory and was split into French Cameroons and British Cameroons in 1919. While France integrated the economy of their part of Cameroon with that of France, the British administered theirs from neighboring Nigeria, making Atiku’s Jada a British franchise.
“A plebiscite was held in British Cameroons to determine whether the people preferred to stay in Cameroon or align with Nigeria. While Northern Cameroon preferred a union with Nigeria, Southern Cameroon chose alignment with their mother country.”
He said further: “On June 1, 1961, Northern Cameroon became part of Nigeria, and on October 1, 1961, the Southern territory dissolved into Cameroon.
“Ganye, which incorporates Atiku’s birthplace of Jada was the headquarters of British Cameroons, but following the plebiscite, joined Nigeria. It is instructive to note that when Atiku was on November 25, 1946 born to a trader and farmer Garba Abubakar, Jada village and other parts of Chamba land in the then Northern Cameroon were still known as British Cameroons.
“It is interesting to also note that none of Atiku’s parents or grandparents was born in Nigeria. Atiku’s ancestral origin is deeply rooted in the then Northern Cameroon.”
He stressed further that since the Nigerian constitution clearly states that only a citizen qualifies to contest for any election, according to Section 25.
According to Ajulo, the provision of Subsection 1(c) cannot still avail Atiku because there are two conditions precedent that must be satisfied, viz: 1) he must be born outside Nigeria; and any of his parents must be Nigerian citizen.