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Atiku is eligible to vie for presidency, Adamawa govt. tells court

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Atiku Abubakar
Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar
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The Adamawa government, on Tuesday, told a Federal High Court, Abuja, that former Vice President Atiku Abukakar was eligible to vie for the office of the president.

The Attorney-General (AG) of Adamawa, Afraimu Jingi, told Justice Inyang Ekwo while moving a motion on notice, seeking to be joined in the suit filed by a group against Atiku and three others.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the group, an Incorporated Trustees of Egalitarian Mission for Africa (EMA), in a suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/177/2019 had sued Atiku, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) as 1st to 4th respondents respectively.

EMA is challenging Atiku’s eligibility to contest for presidency on the grounds that he was not a Nigerian citizen by birth.

The group asked the court to hold among others, that considering the provisions of Sections 25(1) &(2) and 131(a) of the constitution and the circumstances surrounding the former vice president’s birth, he cannot contest for the top office. But Jingi, through his lawyer, Chief L.D. Nzadon, in the motion dated April 26 and filed June 24, sought an order of the court to be joined in the matter.

Moving the motion, Nzadon based his argument on 21 grounds.

The lawyer described the matter as “a public interest suit to ensure that the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) is complied with in the election of the President of Nigeria.”

He said the Adamawa AG is a chief law officer of the state who must be brought in as a party.

“The Attorney-General is traditionally the guardian of the public interest in any public interest litigation,” he added.

According to him, this matter can not be effectively and conclusively determined unless the Attorney General of Adamawa is joined as a party.

Nzadon said Atiku, against whom the suit was primarily directed, is a citizen of Nigeria from Adamawa who had been elected as a Governor of the state in 1999 and served as the vice president of the country between 1999 to 2007.

He said the suit threatens the right of not just the ex-vice president to contest the office of president “but that of the citizens of Nigeria of Adamawa State origin covering 12 out of the 21 Local Government Areas in the state.”

The lawyer listed the local government areas to include Ganye, Jada, Toungo, part of Mayo-Belwa, part of Fufore, part of Song, part of Hong, Maiha, Mubi-North, Mubi-South, Michika and Madagali.

He said the total population of the citizens of Nigeria from Adamawa who would be affected by the outcome of the suit was about 2 million people going by the 2006 National Population Census.

“Every citizen of Nigeria whatever his ethnic, religious or cultural background or persuasion should have the same right to vie for any political position under the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as any other citizen.

“To disenfranchise the citizens of the 12 local government areas of Adamawa State in relation to the office of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is to discriminate against them contrary to Section 42(1)(a), (2) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended),” Nzadon told the court.

According to him, Adamawa has the highest number of Nigerian citizens from the former Trust Territories of Northern Cameroon of the three states that have such citizens, to wit: Adamawa, Taraba and Borno States.

The lawyer said it would be extremely difficult to get each one of these Nigerian citizens to defend this action in court.

“This is a public interest Suit and can best be defended by the Adamawa State Government through its Chief Law Officer, the Attorney General of Adamawa State.

“This cause will be defeated by the non-joinder of the citizens whose civil rights and obligations will be affected in violation of Section 36(1) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended),” he said.

“The citizens of Adamawa in the 12 local government areas ought to have been joined as necessary parties to this suit but were not.

“The presence of the said citizens is necessary to enable the court to effectually and conclusively adjudicate upon and settle the questions involved in the action.

“The government and people of Adamawa State have a greater interest in this suit than the 4th respondent (AGF).

“It is the constitutional responsibility of the Adamawa Government to advance and protect the political, social and economic interests of the citizens of Nigeria from Adamawa State.

“The applicant is a necessary party to this suit without whose joinder the citizenship issues affecting the indigenes of Adamawa State from the 12 of the 21 local government areas in the state can not be determined with finality,” the lawyer said.

Since counsel to other parties in the suit did not oppose the motion, Justice Ekwo granted the prayer.

 

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Tinubu/Shettima ticket best for Nigeria – Adamu

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APC Presidential candidate, Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Vice Kashim Shettima
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The National Chairman of All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Abdullahi Adamu has said Tinubu/Shettima ticket is the best for Nigeria at this trying period.

Adamu, who spoke with the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) Hausa Service, said the ticket is the best winning strategy for the ruling party in next year’s election.

Adamu said while everybody in a democracy cannot be convinced to embark on the same course of action, there is overwhelming evidence that the same faith ticket is the best option.

He said: “You see, with the situation, we are in the country, you can’t convince everybody. It’s a democracy, and everyone has his right but for us, same faith ticket is the best thing for Nigeria presently.

“But we will not relent. We will work to ensure we convince Nigerians to fully support this Tinubu/Shettima ticket, every party has its strategy and this is the strategy that we think can best work for us.”

Despite the current security and economic challenges facing the country, the chairman expressed optimism about victory, insisting that the situation “won’t stop them from winning the election”.

“There’s insecurity in the country and every country faces its own kind of insecurity. The media don’t publicise government efforts adequately.”

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2023 Presidential Election: This Is Not Your Time, Dino Melaye Dismisses Peter Obi

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Senator Dino Melaye
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The spokesman of the Atiku Campaign Organisation, Dino Melaye, has dismissed the social media frenzy generated by Peter Obi, saying the Labour Party presidential candidate does not stand a chance of winning next year’s poll. 

Senator Melaye was speaking as a guest on Channels Television’s Politics Today on Friday, maintaining that social media does not win elections in Nigeria.

“To start with, there is no wave. What you have is euphoria; a created euphoria,” he said during the show.

“Let me even tell you, Peter Obi is a fantastic Nigerian. I have tremendous respect for him and I have said it before but this is not his time.

He does not have what it takes now to unify the country.”

He restated that social media popularity does not equate to voting power.

Melaye cited the recent performance of the Labour Party in the Osun State governorship election as an indication that social media is different from the reality on the ground.

“Despite Peter Obi visiting Osun to campaign for his party’s governorship candidate, the performance of the Labour Party was 2,700 votes,” Melaye argued, stressing that people should not be carried away by the “euphoria”.

The former lawmaker, who was recently named as the spokesperson of the Atiku Campaign Organisation, also dismissed Obi’s ability to reposition the economy – which is the main thrust of the ex-Anambra governor’s campaign-  if he wins.

“Even when you talk about the economy, you need peace; you need to build trust among Nigerians,” the Kogi-born spokesman said.

As far as he is concerned, only his principal, Atiku, has the capacity to unite Nigeria and tackle headlong the challenges facing the country.

“It takes Atiku to unify this country. It takes a man that will be trusted in the north, south, east, and every part of the country to unify this country,” he said.

“Today, among all presidential candidates, Atiku is the only one that can be trusted; that nobody will see him as a religious bigot, tribalist; or ethnic jingoist.”

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Wase Commends emergence of Governor Lalong as DG APC Presidential Campaign

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Plateau State Governor Samuel Lalong
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The Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives Ahmed Idris Wase has congratulated Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau state on his appointment as the Director General, Presidential Campaign Organisation of Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu.

Ahmed Idris Wase applauded the choice of the Governor saying he is most competent and fit to lead the campaign of the APC Presidential candidate.

He described the newly appointed DG as detribalized, resourceful, ingenious and a practical politician, an adept listener, and a leader with the right attitude to grind out results where others cannot succeed.

He is convinced that “With Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and his running mate, Kashim Shettima on the ballot and Simon Lalong in the driving seat, the APC is on the right path to victory come February 2023″.

He thanked the Presidential candidate, the national chairman of the party for the confidence reposed in the Plateau governor to lead the APC campaign saying “A good product needs a great strategist to deliver”.

The All Progressives Congress had on Thursday unveiled the governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong, as the Director General of its Presidential Campaign Council.

The unveiling was made after a visit by the party’s flagbearer, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, his running mate, Senator Kashim Shettima, the party’s National Chairman, and Senator Abdullahi Adamu and the Plateau Governor to President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa in Abuja on Thursday.

Governor Simon Lalong, a two-term governor of Plateau State is also a candidate in the Senatorial Election in 2023 in Plateau State.

His emergence followed the decision of the party on its Presidential, Vice Presidential Candidates and the structure of its Presidential campaign council.

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