2023 Election : Lawyer Asks Court To Stop Atiku From Representing PDP
The Applicant, Barrister Othniel Aghogho Ikpibako
A Nigeria lawyer, Othniel Aghogho Ikpibako, has asked a Lagos Federal High Court, for an injunction, restraining the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) from fielding or presenting any candidate from Northern Nigeria in the forthcoming presidential election in 2023 in Nigeria.
The lawyer also asked the court for an injunction restraining All Progressive Congress (APC) from fielding or presenting any candidate from Northern Nigeria in the country’s forthcoming presidential election.
The lawyer, a resident of 17, Bode Thomas Street, Surulere, Lagos State, also asked the court for an order of injunction restraining Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from accepting or recognising any candidate from Northern Nigeria fielded by either the PDP or APC or any other political party in Nigeria for the country’s forthcoming 2023 presidential election.
The lawyer further begged the court for a declaration that “either the people of Northem Nigeria or people of Southern Nigeria cannot hold the office of the Nigerian President for more than a two-term tenure of eight years consecutively without violation of the collective right of freedom from domination of the people of the other region.
“A declaration that the intention of some Northern Nigerians to contest office of the Nigerian President in 2023 is a likely violation of the right of freedom from domination of the people of Southern Nigeria.”
The lawyer stated that both the orders and declarations sought for are pursuant to Article 19 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act, Cap A9, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.
Barrister Othniel who set out only one question for determination stated that; “given that the incumbent President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, a Northern Nigerian, is entitled to complete a two-term tenure of eight years by May 29, 2023, whether if another Northern Nigerian succeeds Muhammadu Buhari on May 29, 2023, will not amount to the domination of the people of Southem Nigeria by Northern Nigeria, contrary to Article 19 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act, Cap A9, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.”
Meanwhile, at the hearing of the matter today, the lawyer was represented by Barrister Bernard Omang, while no representation from INEC, PDP and APC, who were listed as first to third respondents in the suit marked FHC/L/CS/402/22.
The lawyer has sued for himself and on behalf of all Nigerians.
However, Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke, while ordered issuance of hearing notice to all respondents, adjourned the matter till October 17, for hearing.
The lawyer in an affidavit deposed to by himself stated that the suit was brought on his behalf and in the interest of all Nigerians, to foster unity, peace and progress of Nigeria.
He stated that the incumbent President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, is a Northern Nigerian from Daura Katsina State and a Fulani by origin. And that Muhammadu Buhari has held office of the Nigerian President since 29th May 2015, when he was first sworn in and was re-sworn in on the 29th May 2019 for a second term.
He stated that Muhammadu Buhari is entitled to complete his second term as a Nigerian President on the 29th May 2023, by which time he would have presided or ruled Nigeria for eight (8) years. And that the office of the Nigerian President is domineering, to wit, all executive powers of the federation are vested in the President.
He averred that the politics of Nigeria is usually polarised between the Northern and Southern Nigeria. And that when President Goodluck Jonathan, from Southern Nigeria, won the 2011 presidential election many Southern Nigerians were killed in Northern Nigeria in reaction to his victory.
He stated further that conversely when President Muhammadu Buhari, from Northern Nigeria, won both the 2015 and 2019 presidential elections they culminated in renewed agitations for the Republic of Biafra and Oodua Republic from Southern Nigeria. And that many Northern Nigerians have already declared their interests to contest the presidential election in 2023, among who are, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, Alhaji Aminu Tanbuwal, Sen. Bala Mohammed and Mr. Yaya Bello.
He averred that for another Northern Nigenan to succeed Muhammadu Buhari as a Nigenan President on the 29th May 2023, will amount to the domination of the people of Southern Nigeria by Northem Nigeria. And that if a Northem Nigerian succeeds Muhammadu Buhan as a Nigenan President on the 29th May 2023, it will amount to the breach of the collective right of freedom from domination of Southern Nigerians.
He stated further that human rights law, fairness, equity, justice, unity, peace and progress of Nigeria demand that the office of the Nigerian President be occupied by a Southern Nigerian from 29th May 2023 for a maximum of eight (8) years and thereafter the said office will be occupied by a Northern Nigenan and again in that order.
He stated further that there is likelihood of violation of the collective right to freedom from domination of the people of Southem Nigeria, including myself, if a Northern Nigerian is fielded as a presidential candidate by any of the political parties in Nigeria including the PDP and APC.
It would be recall that Alhaji Abubakar Atiku, a northerner, became PDP Presidential candidate, in the primary held on May 28, 2022. While Asiwaju Bola Ahmed, a Southerner, emerged APC Presidential Candidate in party’s primary held on June 8, 2022.