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‎Atiku Challenges Suit Against Him, Asks Court to Order Buhari to Pay Him N2bn for Frivolous Suit


Former Vice President and presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, has asked a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to order President Muhammadu Buhari to pay him N2bn for filing a frivolous suit against him (Atiku).
President Muhammadu Buhari ‎and his campaign organisation (Buhari Campaign Organisation) had on January 22 dragged Atiku Abubakar and his Personal Assistant, Phrank Shaibu before a Federal High Court, Abuja, over alleged defamation.
In the said suit marked FCT/HC/CV/ 804/2019, ‎Buhari accused Atiku and his aide, of making several defamatory statement in some national newspapers to the effect that he (Buhari) used his position as the President to fraudulently acquire two private companies, Keystones Bank Plc and 9Mobile Communication Ltd, for the himself and members of his family.
The plaintiffs told the court that the defendants falsely claimed that the President acquired the said companies using his influence.
In the suit filed by A.I. Ahmed, the plaintiffs alleged that Phrank Shaibu (1st defendant) made the purported and concocted defamatory statement against Buhari in the media in a statement.
They claimed that the reputation of the President was greatly affected by the undue diligence with regards to the authenticity of the information as relate to the true ownership of the alleged companies which the 1st defendant on behalf and for 2nd defendant falsely published in the newspapers for the consumption of the public.
However, in his statement of defence filed by his counsel, Chukwuma-Machukwu Ume (SAN), Atiku questioned the competence of the suit and urged the court to grant an order mandating President Buhari to apologise to him for filing a frivolous suit against him.
‎He further asked for an order of court mandating that the total sum of N2bn as damages be sent to all the IDP camps across the country and for equipment of libraries and Information Technology ‎equipment for all State Universities in Nigeria.
Besides, Atiku in his counter claim, is seeking an order of court ‎”mandating President Buhari and his agents including security operatives and officers to abide by the rule of law and the principle of separation of powers entrenched in the constitution and should not intervene in the forthcoming elections.”
In a 56 paragraph witness statement on oath deposed by Abraham Udoh, the PDP presidential candidate ‎told the court that President Buhari has failed Nigerians by his inability as a President, to stop ‎the ruthless and wanton killings that have rendered citizens, farmers, women and children homeless without food or basic amenities of life and led to the emergence of various Internally Displaced Persons camps across several states in the country.
“That under the present administration, there are over 108, 000 Internally Displaced Persons grappling with a litany of infections and hunger.
‎The defendants / counter claimant stated that “in Taraba State the number of IDPs in the various camps are: Mayo Dassa (402 IDPs); Gullong (1259), ATC Kofai (968), Abuja I and II (357), Dorowa/Magami/Malam Joda(579), Sabon Gari (482), Malum (872), Murtai/Yaukani/Yelwa(554), Mile six (74), Nyabukaka/Tutan Kurma/Kasa(148) and Nukkai (30).
“That in Plateau State there are a total of 38, 051 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) who were victims of the June 23 and 24 violence involving suspected herdsmen and villagers in Barkin Ladi, Riyom, Mangu, Bokkos and Jos South Local Government Areas are taking refuge in 31 camps.
“That in Benue State they have registered more than 180, 000 displaced ‎persons in eight camps while over 500, 000 IDPs are taking shelter wherever they find space.
‎Atiku further informed the court that President Buhari’s “lopsided appointments and insensitivity to the principle of Federal character laid down in section 14 (3) of the 1999 constitution that has led to disunity amongst Nigerians.
“That the current division in Nigeria was ignited by that infamous 5% versus 97% speech that President Buhari gave in Washington on June 23, 2015. No father should ever tell some of his kids in the presence of the rest of his kids that he loves them more than the others. When this happens, the discontent that it will cause may lead to the breakup of that home.
“That in a report by Transparency International (TI) released on February 21, 2018, Nigeria was still ranked as one of the most corrupt countries in the World.
That the inability of the Buhari administration to combat grand corruption has led to astronomical plundering of public coffers costing ‎the Nigerian taxpayers around 25% of annual Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
“That according to a recent report released by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on February 28, 2018, Nigerians are getting poorer despite the country’s slow recovery from a devastating recession.
Atiku further posited that ‎”Buhari’s desecration of the judicial process of the nation which led to a high tension and democratic instability in the country.
“That Buhari in flagrant abuse of his veto power, without any unilateral support from other tiers of government illegally and unconstitutionally suspended the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen from office on January 25, 2019 without strict adherence to the provisions of section 292 of the 1999 constitution which laid down the procedure for the removal of a judicial officer in his capacity.
“That in further usurpation of the Constitutional functions of the National Judicial Council (NJC), Buhari swore in an illegal Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, Tanko Mohammed.”
Meanwhile, the case will come up for hearing on March 7, before court 34, Apo Division of the FCT High Court.

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