The Federal High Court sitting in Yenagoa, on Friday has given nod for former President Goodluck Jonathan to contest for presidency in the forthcoming 2023 election.
This is as the presiding judge, Justice Isa Hamma ruled that the former President is eligible to contest the 2023 presidential election.
The judge in his ruling also held that Jonathan’s right to vie for the office of president again cannot be stopped by any retro-active law.
This was sequel to a motion filed by Andy Solomon and Idibiye Abraham, seeking an order of the court that would affirm that Jonathan was not affected by the fourth alteration to the constitution barring Vice-Presidents who succeed their principals from serving more than one full term.
In the suit marked FHC/YNG/CS/86/2022 which is before Justice Isa Dashen, the All Progressives Congress, Jonathan and the Independent National Electoral Commission are listed as defendants.
Recall that following growing calls by some supporters that Jonathan should declare intention for the 2023 presidential election, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Femi Falana had said the former President would be on the wrong side of the constitution of the country should he make such declaration.
The legal luminary said by the virtue of section 137 (3) of the Nigerian constitution, Jonathan cannot contest the office of Nigeria’s president having spent five years in office as president already under two different terms.
Jonathan who served as the Vice President under the administration of late former president Musa Yar’Adua, was sworn in as President on May 5, 2010 to complete the term of his principal who died at the age of 58 years after suffering a brief illness.
He would later contest in the 2011 presidential election and won in his name, thereby remaining in office for another four years, until 2015 when he lost to President Muhammadu Buhari.
Section 137 (3) of the constitution reads: “A person who was sworn in to complete the term for which another person was elected as President shall not be elected to such office for more than a single term.”
More to come soon…