From Steve Oko, Umuahia
As the controversy over the true indigenship of the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, rages on, Mr. Aloy Ejimakor, lawyer to the leader of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, has explained that Atiku is a Nigeria citizen by birth.
Ejimakor who gave the explanation in a press release Monday said that contrary to the misconception in some quarters, all persons born in Adamawa State before their integration into Nigeria via the 1961 plebiscite are automatically Nigerians.
The statement obtained by The AUTHORITY in Umuahia read :”Atiku is legally deemed a citizen of Nigeria by BIRTH, pursuant to the following:
” The legal instrument with which Northern Cameroon was included in Nigeria on May 31, 1961;
” Section 10 of the (repealed) 1963 Republican Constitution; and
“Section 6(1)(c), of Interpretation Act, which provides that “The repeal of an enactment shall not affect any RIGHT, privilege, obligation or liability accrued or incurred under the enactment”.
The legal luminary further argued that Atiku’s Nigerian BIRTHRIGHT accrued in 1961 (by the Instruments enacted pursuant to the Referendum) and in 1963 when it was ‘enacted by reference’ in the 1963 Constitution.
“Thus, the repeal of the 1963 Constitution by the 1999 Constitution did not affect his previously accrued or vested Nigerian birthright.”
According to him, “under the doctrine of ‘relation-back’, being borne in Nigeria means being borne in a Nigeria that ‘related-back’ to include those borne before 1960 in territories that later became part of Nigeria through Referendum, same territories having been named in the 1999 Constitution as amongst the States and LGAs that constitute Nigeria”.