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Nigeria high court overturns ruling disqualifying VP from presidential race

[JURIST] The Supreme Court of Nigeria [official website] ruled unanimously Monday that Nigerian Vice President Atiku Abubakar [official website; JURIST news archive] should not have been barred from running in the country's April 21 presidential election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) [official website]. Specifically, the court held that the Nigerian Court of Appeal [official website] incorrectly ruled [JURIST report] earlier this month that the INEC had the right to disqualify presidential candidates for fraud. INEC removed Abubakar's name from the ballot because he was indicted on corruption charges [JURIST report] in March, along with his political rival Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo [BBC profile], for diverting money to private interests. Abubakar then filed a lawsuit [JURIST report] against the INEC challenging its decision to bar his candidacy. Electoral officials could not immediately confirm to AP Monday whether Saturday's presidential ballots would contain Abubakar's name.

Last Saturday's elections for governors and state officials in Nigeria [JURIST news archive] were marred by violence and accusations of fraud [JURIST report], which has worried observers in advance of this coming Saturday's presidential election [BBC report]. AP has more.

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