Adamawa Is Part Of Cameroon Not Part Of Nigeria – APC Counsel Makes Desperate Move In Atiku/Buhari Case
In a dramatic way, the All Progressives Congress (APC) has told the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal in Abuja that former vice president Atiku Abubakar cum the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the February 23 presidential election is not a Nigerian.
Responding formally to the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) petition to the election tribunal, the ruling APC declared that Atiku is not a Nigerian and as such was not eligible to contest the election on grounds of his nationality.
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Atiku’s media adviser, Mr. Paul Ibe, described APC’s response as idiotic, shameful and disrespectful.
According to the APC, since the former vice president is a Cameroonian and not a Nigerian citizen, his petition against Buhari, should therefore be dismissed for lacking in merit.
Recall that on March 19, 2019, Atiku filed the petition against the declaration of Buhari as winner of the February 23 poll. The petition which was anchored on five grounds, prayed the tribunal to annul Buhari’s victory on grounds that the election was characterised by widespread rigging, violence and substantial non-compliance with electoral laws. They also urged the tribunal to disqualify Buhari over alleged non possession of requisite academic qualification for the office of president.
The APC lead counsel, Lateef Fagbemi SAN, alleged that as a Cameroonian, Atiku ought not to have taken part in Nigeria’s presidential election in the first instance, according to the APC reply, Atiku was born on November 25, 1946 in Jada, Adamawa in Northern Cameroon and is therefore a citizen of Cameroon and not a Nigerian by birth.
The APC argument is hinged on the claim that prior to 1919, Cameroon was under the administration of Germany and that following the defeat of Germany in world war 1, Cameroon became a mandate territory in the league of nations, and the territory was split into French Cameroon and British Cameroon in 1919, however, in 1961, a plebiscite was held in British Cameroon to determine whether the people preferred to stay in Cameroon or aligned with Nigeria. The result of the plebiscite was that northern Cameroon which included Adamawa became a part of Nigeria.
The APC therefore said that contrary to the assertion of Atiku in his petition, he (Atiku) had no right to be voted for as a candidate in the election to the office of president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria held on February 23, 2019 on the ground of his not being a Nigerian.
Responding to this, Mr. Ibe, described remarks that a former vice president of Nigeria is a Cameroonian as
“idiotic, shameful and disrespectful of the office of the vice president of Nigeria.
“It is disrespectful of the office Osinbajo occupies and others will still occupy in the future. This is the downside of excluding history as a subject in our schools. The APC is unaware that those in the defunct Northern Cameroon became Nigerian citizen a long time ago after a plebiscite. Are they trying to rewrite history or is this a case of dementia? It shows that the APC has no defence in this case. We are hopeful that the judiciary will dispense justice fairly.”
But the APC in its response argued that failure of Atiku to join the Nigerian Army, Police and other security agencies who performed the alleged harassment and intimidation as defendants in the petition to establish his claim, is fatal to the petition and that the claims should be struck out.
The party therefore prayed the tribunal to uphold the victory of its candidate, President Buhari who polled 15, 191, 847 votes to emerge winner and his subsequent declaration as president-elect by INEC, while also urging that the petition against the victory should be dismissed for having no cause of action.
No date has been fixed for the hearing of the petition.