Overwhelmed by the outpouring of criticism and condemnation that followed his questioning of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar’s citizenship in a court of law, Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN, has denied ever taking legal action on Atiku’s citizenship.
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Dr. Umar Jibirilu Gwandu, Malami’s Special Assistant on Media and Public Relations, issued the denial in a statement made available to our correspondent in Abuja on Wednesday.
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“The Honorable Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN, has never filed any case in any court in the country challenging the citizenship of the former Vice President Atiku Abubakar,” the denial read in part.
“The case in question was filed by a Civil Society Organization, the Incorporated Trustees of Egalitarian Mission for Africa, in suit no: FHC/ABJ/CS/177/2019, in which Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), and the Office of the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation were named as defendants.
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“Since April 2019, the issue has been widely reported in the media. Stale news stories that can cause confusion are unfortunately repackaged and presented to the general public as current news.
Malami claimed in his response to the federal high court suit filed in 2019 that Atiku was ineligible to run for President of Nigeria because he was not a Nigerian citizen.
His affidavit in support of the lawsuit includes graphic historical details about Atiku’s father, grandfather, and great grandfather, all of whom were not Nigerians.
The All Progressive Congress APC took the same position in its response to Atiku’s petition challenging President Muhammadu Buhari’s re-election to a second term at the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal.
To counter Atiku’s petition, the APC filed an affidavit on its behalf by a legal luminary, Prince Lateef Fagbemi SAN, which stated that Atiku was not qualified for the 2019 Presidential election because he is a Cameroonian and not a Nigerian citizen by birth.