The Federal High Court in Abuja, has described the plaintiffs in a suit challenging the Nigerian citizenship of former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar as “busy bodies and meddlesome interlopers”.
Justice Inyang Eden Ekwo stated this on Monday while dismissing the suit which had been filed by the Incorporated Trustees of Egalitarian Mission for Africa seeking to disqualify Atiku from contesting any election in the country arguing that he was not a Nigerian citizen.
Justice Ekwo dismissed the suit on the grounds that the plaintiff that instituted the case lacked the locus standi (legal right) to do so.
Justice Ekwo described the plaintiff as a “busy body and meddlesome interloper.”
the group, in a suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/177/2019 had sued Atiku, PDP, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), and Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) as 1st to 4th respondents respectively.
According to the EMA, Atiku has no right to contest for the presidency on the grounds that he was not a Nigerian citizen by birth.
The group asked the court to hold, among others, that considering the provisions of Sections 25(1) &(2) and 131(a) of the constitution and the circumstances surrounding the former vice president’s birth, he cannot contest for the top office.
But Justice Ekwo noted that the NGO which is registered under Company and Allied Matters Act with special functions cannot jump into Public Interest Litigation that was not part of its registered objective.
He cautioned the body to refrain from filing frivolous applications targeted at harassing politically exposed Nigerians.
On July 27, 2021, the Adamawa State Government, through its Attorney-General (AG), sought an order of the court to be joined in the suit.
The court, in the motion dated April 26 and filed June 24, granted the prayer of the AG of Adamawa to be joined in the case as the 5th defendant.
The Adamawa government had told the court that Atiku was eligible to vie for the office of the president.
“The suit threatened the right of not just the ex-vice president to contest the office of the president but that of the citizens of Nigeria, of Adamawa origin, covering 12 out of the 21 Local Government Areas in the state,” the Adamawa State Government noted.