BY Akinwale Yekeen
The presidential election petition tribunal on Wednesday dismissed the suit by Atiku Abubakar, candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), seeking to disqualify President Bola Tinubu on the ground of dual citizenship.
The tribunal ruled that the information in Atiku’s reply was an attempt to smuggle in fresh evidence to make up for the details his legal team failed to provide while filing the petition.
The court also held that Atiku’s claim of non-qualification stated in the main petition was vague.
“It was in their response to the respondents’ reply that they tried to smuggle in the issue of double citizenship,” the panel said.
Abubakar, Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP), and the Allied Peoples Movement (APM) have approached the tribunal to challenge Tinubu’s victory in the presidential election.
The former vice-president had told the tribunal that Tinubu ought not to have contested the election owing to his dual citizenship of Nigeria and Guinea.
Atiku made the claim in his response to Tinubu’s preliminary objection filed before the presidential election petition court in Abuja.
Shortly after Tinubu was declared the president-elect, there were reports that he allegedly obtained citizenship of Guinea.
The allegation generated varied reactions on social media, with many arguing that having dual citizenship bars Tinubu from contesting elections in the country.
Tinubu’s relationship with Alpha Conde, the former president of Guinea, has also come under scrutiny.
Ousmane Yara, a Guinean ambassador to the African Union (AU) for Agenda 2063, had said Tinubu was recognised by Conde as a special envoy.