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Nigeria appeals court allows VP to retain office after party break

[JURIST] A Nigerian appeals court ruled on Tuesday that Vice President Atiku Abubakar [official profile] could not legally be stripped of his office after his break with President Olusegun Obasanjo [official profile]. The pair were elected in 1999 at the end of an oppressive military regime, but Abubakar was accused of corruption [JURIST report] and forced from the party after refusing to support Obasanjo's failed attempt [JURIST report] to amend the constitution and run for a third term.

Abubakar, who may have presidential ambitions of his own, is now being investigated on those corruption charges. If convicted, he would be precluded from running for the Nigerian presidency. A smooth election would mark the first time since independence in 1960 that the country has seen a peaceful, democratic handover of power. AP has more.

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