Law News
Jonathan’s eligibility suit continues despite chambers raid -Lawyer
A plaintiff in one ‎of the suits challenging the eligibility of President Goodluck Jonathan to seek re-election, Wahab Olatoye, whose law office was burgled last Friday, said on Tuesday that the invasion of his office would not deter him from going on with the suit.
Suspected armed robbers on Friday broke into Olatoye’s law office at Suit 33, Manga Plaza, Garki, Area 11 and carted away most of the files containing documents lined up for the eligibility suit and other valuable materials.
Olatoye along with Adejumo Ajagbe are the plaintiffs in the suit instituted before the Federal High Court, in Abuja.
The plaintiffs are seeking an order restraining the Independent National Electoral Commission and the Attorney-General of the Federation, from allowing Jonathan and his vice, Namadi Sambo to seek re-election for their respective offices in 2015.
In a statement on Tuesday, said the documents carted away by the burglars were already filed before the court hearing the eligibility suit, adding that the suit was of utmost constitutional importance and not a personal battle.
He stated, “It is quite unfortunate for this type of thing to happen. For people to break into my office, destroy my cabinet, ransack my office, destroy my computer system and cart away vital documents.
“I leave them in the hands of God, but as a lawyer and a citizen of Nigeria, I’m not bothered. Allah is in control.
“I can’t be suppressed or intimidated. We all have our roles to play to sustain constitutional democracy premised on principles of service delivery to all Nigerians that have the final say to determine who governs them vide their political sovereignty which the lasting power.
“The matter in court is not a personal one, but a constitutional one whose facts are notorious and known.
“As a plaintiff in the matter, my office should not have been the point of call. Even though, I have the documents here, they are already before the court. So, taking away the ones with me does not stop anything.”
Olatoye and Ajagbe had anchored their suit against Jonathan on the provisions of sections 132(1), 135(2)(a) and (b), 137(1)(b), 142(1) and (2) of the Constitution and the Supreme Court decisions.
The plaintiffs argued that by the virtue of constitutional provisions, the President and the Vice President elected in the same election and sworn into office on the same date and ceremony were taken to have been elected for one single term of four years.
The plaintiffs also contended that by the virtue of the oaths taken by Jonathan and Sambo following the death of President Umaru Yar’adua in 2010 and their subsequent re-election in 2011, both of them were deemed to have completed the two terms allowed by law.
The trial judge, Justice Ahmed Mohammed, had fixed December 1 for hearing in the suit, having ordered parties to file and exchange all necessary processes.
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