The All Progressives Congress (APC) has prayed the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal to strike out Atiku Abubakar’s petition against President Muhammadu Buhari’s re-election alleging that the former vice president “is not a Nigerian by birth.”
Abubakar contested in the February 23, 2019, general election on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) but lost to President Buhari.
He and the PDP approached the tribunal seeking his declaration as the rightful winner of the election.
At the court on Thursday, June 13, 2019, Counsel to the APC, Lateef Fagbemi, made the call while responding to the petitioners’ motion seeking the striking out of APC’s reply to the petition.
“My Lord, I am opposing this application on the qualification of the first petitioner (Abubakar). I am standing by the proof we have supplied in our reply,” Fagbemi said.
“The candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the February 23 presidential election was not qualified to contest the election in the first place.
“I, therefore, pray the tribunal to strike out the petitioners’ application for lacking in competence and merit,’’ he added.
The APC insisted that Abubakar was not a citizen of Nigeria by birth and ought not to have even been allowed to contest in the first place.
Counsel to the PDP, Chris Uche, however, argued that historical records showed that the former vice president was a citizen of Nigeria by birth.
Uche, therefore, urged the panel to discountenance Fagbemi’s submission by granting the application.