A lawyer and former National Secretary of the Labour Party, LP, Olukayode Ajulo, has stated that being a former Vice President does not automatically qualify the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, to contest for the presidency.
Ajulo, an All Progressives Congress, APC, lawyer, stated this while fielding questions from The Sun on issues relating to the contention of the nationality of Atiku.
According to the lawyer, it was even former President Olusegun Obasanjo that inspired the thought that Atiku is not Nigerian when he raised the issue of the former Vice President being of ‘dubious parental background’ in his book, ‘My Watch.’
He said, “President Olusegun Obasanjo inspired that thought and this further inspired me to go into research to know who is a Nigerian citizen by birth because if somebody who had not only worked with Atiku but was also the president then can raise this issue of Atiku being of ‘dubious parental background’ in his book, ‘My Watch,’ then there must be more than what meets the eyes.
“My position is still unchanged, and that is, that Atiku was a vice president is not an automatic qualification to contest for the presidency.
“Long repetition of wrong occurrences, won’t make it right. In fact, in Australia, one of their members of Parliament had to resign when it was discovered that his nationality was questionable.
“I don’t think ours is beyond rectification and that is why the issue is being raised. I was a student when Atiku became a vice president.
“As a lawyer, who must be on the right side of the law, I know my limits particularly when a matter is before the court; and as a counsel to one of the parties in the election, whatever I am going to say is going to be circumspect to the point that it will not prejudice the matter before the court.
“It is so clear beyond conjecture that the APC raised a lot of fundamental preliminary objections especially on the claim of Atiku that he has right to be nominated and voted for whereas the constitution has a special condition that to be able to be voted for as the president you must be a Nigerian citizen by birth.
“Yes, it is true that no one should be prejudiced by the circumstances of his birth. However, there is an exception for every right. For example, there is a right to freedom of speech and however this right is still circumscribed by the right of other persons.
“Therefore, your right must be exercised within the ambit of the law. For example, you can’t say you have a right to freedom of movement and then find your way to my bedroom, without authorisation or justification, I will deal with you.
“The constitution stipulates the condition precedent to the right Atiku is laying claim to and I am of the view that he has not, in fact, and cannot, fulfil that condition precedent.”