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Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Tinubu’s dual citizenship disqualifies him from Nigerian presidency, Atiku tells tribunal

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Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the February 25, 2023 election, has challenged the election of President-elect Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, stating that Tinubu holds dual citizenship of Nigeria and Guinea, which disqualifies him from the Nigerian presidency. Atiku argued that Tinubu’s status as a dual citizen makes him constitutionally ineligible to hold the position of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

In his response to Tinubu and the All Progressives Congress’s (APC) reply to his petition challenging the process and outcome of the election, Atiku also accused Tinubu of being unfit to lead Nigeria due to his alleged indictment for drug-related offenses in the United States of America (USA) and forfeiture of $460,000 as a compromise agreement.

Atiku, who has been running for the office of the President of Nigeria since 1993 without any controversy, claimed that he has a clean record that has enabled him to run for office, while Tinubu’s identity, age, state of origin, and educational qualifications have been in dispute. Furthermore, Atiku accused Tinubu of failing to disclose his constitutional qualifications in his Form EC9 submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), contrary to the provisions of the law.

Atiku’s lead counsel, Chief Chris Uche (SAN), justified why the declaration of Tinubu as President-elect cannot stand and maintained that Tinubu and APC never won the majority of the lawful votes cast in the February 25 presidential election. Atiku insisted that the return of Tinubu as the winner of the 2023 presidential election is unlawful and invalid because Tinubu did not meet the constitutional requirements as to qualification.

Atiku claimed that Tinubu deliberately chose not to address the issues raised against him and the disputed election but opted for extraneous facts, contradictory, evasive, speculative, and vague assertions. The former vice president dismissed Tinubu’s claims that he is a serial election loser, calling Tinubu a giant in forfeiture, drug-related offenses, and failure to disclose dual nationality to INEC.

Atiku’s petition seeks the annulment of the declaration of Tinubu as President-elect and states that Tinubu and APC failed to meet the constitutional requirements for qualification. Atiku’s response to Tinubu’s and APC’s reply to his petition highlights the issue of Tinubu’s dual citizenship, which Atiku claims disqualifies him from the Nigerian presidency.

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