By Ebere Agozie/Abuja
Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, said he did not institute any legal action challenging the citizenship of the former Vice President of Nigeria Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.
Malami said this in a statement by Dr Umar Gwandu, his Special Assistant on Media and Public Relations, in Abuja on Wednesday.
“I never filed any case before any court in the country challenging the citizenship of the former Vice President Atiku Abubakar,’’ he said.
He said the matter in contention was part of the 2019 pre-election matters instituted by a Civil Society Organisation – the Incorporated Trustees of Egalitarian Mission for Africa – in suit no: FHC/ABJ/CS/177/2019.
He said that it was in respect of it that Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation were made co-defendants.
He noted that the issue had already been widely reported by the media since April, 2019.
“It is unfortunate that stale news stories capable of causing confusion are repackaged and presented to the general public as current news,” the minister said.
ICIR reported on Tuesday that the case came before Justice Inyang Ekwo on 15 March.
Ekwo then adjourned hearing till May 4.
According to the report the AGF had filed an affidavit in support of the case, in which he contended that Atiku is not qualified to contest to be President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, because he was born in Jada as a Cameroonian.
“The first defendant was born on the 25th of November, 1946 at Jada, at the time in Northern Cameroon. By the plebiscite of 1961, the town of Jada was incorporated into Nigeria.
“The first defendant is a Nigerian by virtue of the 1961 plebiscite, but not a Nigerian by birth. The first defendant’s parents died before the 1961 plebiscite,” the AGF said in papers before the court.