Disqualify Atiku from presidential race, lawyer tells court


A lawyer based in Onitsha, Anambra State, Dr Jezie Ekejiuba, has dragged the Federal Government, the Independent National Electoral Commission and the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, to court.

Ekejiuba is seeking Atiku’s disqualification from contesting the 2023 presidential election.

The lawyer said by allowing Atiku to contest the election, his right as a Nigerian would be infringed upon.

He added that it will be fundamentally wrong for the President, Major Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), a northerner to hand over power to Atiku, another northerner, in 2023.

The lawyer insisted that the power rotation policy between the North and South, which started in 1999, should be respected and every Nigerian should be given a sense of belonging.

Joined in the suit No. FHC/AWK/CS/198/2022, filed at the Federal High Court Registry, Awka Judicial Division, as second, third, fourth, and fifth respondents are the Attorney-General of the Federation, INEC, the PDP and Atiku.

Ekejiuba, who is the President of the Voters Rights Association of Nigeria, is also seeking N200m from each of the respondents as compensatory and general damages for the threatened violation or gross violation of his fundamental right to freedom from discrimination.

The suit was brought under Order 11, Rules 1 to 5 of the fundamental right (Enforcement Procedure Rules) 2009; Sections 42 (1) (B) and 46 (1) and (2) of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria, as amended; and the inherent jurisdiction of the honourable court as preserved by Section 6 (6) (A) and (B) of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria, as amended.

In the suit, the applicant is seeking a declaration, that “the administrative policy (Northernisation of power policy) of the first to third respondents activated sometime on September 20, 2022, by the first to third respondents, which on the one hand threatened to deny and/or denied or refused to accord him his privilege or advantage to have a sense of belonging to the nation which he and other Southern Nigerian citizens are obliged to continue to benefit from the rotational Presidency of Nigeria headed by a fellow Southern Nigerian citizen, Mr Peter Obi or Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and/or any other fellow Southern Nigerian citizen cleared to contest in the 2023 presidential election.

“An order setting aside, nullifying, and/or voiding ab initio any election of the 5th Respondent (Alhaji Atiku Abubakar) as the next President of Nigeria to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari during the 2023 presidential election for the same being discriminatory against him and a gross violation of Section 42(1) (b) of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria as amended.”

Ekejiuba, in his legal grounds in support of the application, stated that his fundamental right to be accorded his privilege or advantage is protected under Section 42 (1)(b) of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria as amended.

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