September 27, 2022
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2023: Court declares Jonathan competent to contest

A Federal High Court in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State capital, has ruled that former President Jonathan is eligible to contest the forthcoming 2023 presidential election on the grounds that he had only been elected into the office once in 2011.

Giving the judgment on Friday in a suit marked FHC/YNG/CS/86/2022, the presiding judge, Justice Isa Dashen, held that the argument of the plaintiff which was hinged on the introduction of Section 137, subsection 1b and 3 into the Constitution in 2018 could not be applied retrospectively to challenge the eligibility of Jonathan to run for president in 2023.

Recall that one Andy Solomon and Idibiye Abraham (plaintiffs) asked the court to prevent Jonathan from running for the office of president by invoking Section 137, subsection 1b and 3.

The section states that a person cannot take an oath for the office of the President more than twice, whether elected or constitutionally appointed to complete the tenure of a president

But reading further, Justice Dashen said that before Section 137, subsection 1b and 3 was birthed in 2018, there was no clear restriction on the number of times a person should run for the office of president.

He said that even in the said section 137, subsections 1b and 3, the legislature did not clearly state if the law should be applied in retrospect or not.

Citing the case between Cyriacus Njoku and Goodluck Jonathan, Justice Dashen said that the Appeal court in 2014 ruled that Jonathan was eligible to run for the office of President and that since there had been no appeal to contest the judgement of the appellate court, from that moment, Jonathan acquired the right to run for president for a second term.

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3 months ago

Good to know

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