Law News
A’Court affirms Jonathan’s eligibility to re-contest

The Court of Appeal in Abuja has declared President Goodluck Jonathan eligible to seek re-election in the forthcoming presidential poll.

It held that as much as the President had only taken the oath of office as elected President only once in 2011, he was qualified to stand for election into the office for another term.

The lead judgment delivered by Justice Datijo Yahaya was unanimously consented to by four other members of the appeal panel.

Justices Akomolafe Wilson, T Y Hassan, Ekanem Joseph and M Mustapha, were the other members of the panel.

The judgment was in the appeal filed on April 16, 2013 by Cyracus Njoku, challenging the verdict delivered by Justice Mudashiru Oniyangi, then of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory on March 13, 2013.

Njoku had filed the appeal after Justice Oniyangi dismissed his (Njoku’s) suit and held that President Jonathan was eligible to contest in 2015.

Affirming the trial court’s judgment on Tuesday, the five-man panel of the appellate court, held that President Jonathan could not be said to have earlier taken the oath of office as President twice as he became President upon the death of President Umar Yar’Adua, not through election.

The court held that Jonathan only took over the office of the President in 2011 by mere constitutional provisions.

The court noted that in Njoku’s appeal, President Jonathan was not elected as President in 2007, and that in 2010, he did not stand for election as President, but only stood for election in that capacity in 2011.

“He (Jonathan) has not been elected twice. He only completed the unexpired tenure of the late President Yaradua. His tenure started on May 29, 2011.”

The court dismissed the appeal for lacking in merit and award N50,000 cost against the appellant.

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