Nigeria VP sues election board to run in presidential election

[JURIST] Nigerian Vice President Atiku Abubakar [official profile, JURIST news archive] filed a lawsuit Friday against the Nigerian electoral commission [official website] after it issued a ruling Thursday prohibiting him from running in the upcoming April presidential. The commission cited the Nigerian constitution [text], which bars presidential candidates indicted for crimes before a court or executive panel, for its decision. In February, a senate panel indicted Abubakar on corruption charges [JURIST report] stemming from the alleged diversion of $145 million dollars of public money to private interests, as well as allegations of receiving more than $4.6 million dollars in bribes. Only Nigeria's Supreme Court [official website] can overturn the electoral commission's decision, according to legal experts. Abubakar denies the allegations and insists they are part of a smear campaign orchestrated by current president and political rival Olusegun Obasabjo [official profile].

Abubakar is currently embroiled in a high-profile feud with Obasanjo. Last year, Obasanjo tried to amend the constitution to allow him to run for a third presidential term [JURIST report]. Abubakar opposed the move, indicating that he would be running for president himself. In October 2006, Abubakar was charged with corruption [JURIST report], a charge Abubakar says was retaliatory. In February, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission [official website] included [JURIST report] Abubakar on a list of 135 Nigerian politicians considered too corrupt to hold office. AP has more. This Day has local coverage.

 

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.