2023 Presidency: Group drags Jonathan to court, claims he can’t contest again

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Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan attends the polio eradication press conference at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Perth on October 29, 2011. World leaders added their weight to a push to eradicate polio, pledging millions of dollars in new funds to bring an end to the crippling and potentially fatal disease. AFP PHOTO / Torsten BLACKWOOD (Photo credit should read TORSTEN BLACKWOOD/AFP/Getty Images)

The Incorporated Trustees of a human rights organisation, Rights for All International, on Friday asked a Federal High Court in Abuja to, among others, stop ex-President Goodluck Jonathan from participating as a candidate in the 2023 presidential election.

The organisation also told the court to restrain the All Progressives Congress from presenting Jonathan as its candidate and to bar the Independent National Electoral Commission from accepting him as the candidate of the party for the election.

These were among the reliefs being sought in a fresh suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS:662/2022 filed by RAI through its lawyer, Okere Nnamdi.

The APC and INEC were listed as defendants alongside Jonathan in the suit, which processes were obtained by journalists in Abuja

The plaintiffs are contending that having taken the oath of office of the President twice, Jonathan was no longer qualified under the constitution to stand for election as the Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces.

RAI stated in a supporting affidavit that the 1st defendant (Jonathan) had been twice elected to the office of the President and held the office on two previous occasions.

The organisation said, “Despite having held the office of the President of Nigeria on two previous occasions, the 1st defendant has obtained the presidential nomination form of the 2nd defendant (the APC) to contest the 2023 presidential election as the candidate of the 2nd defendant.

“The constitution of Nigeria provides for both qualification and disqualification to contest the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“The 1st defendant, having been elected President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in 2011 and having been sworn-in as President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria from May 29, 2011 to May 29, 2015, served his second term as President of Nigeria.

“The 1st defendant has fulfilled constitutional provisions, having been elected and sworn-in to the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in two previous elections as envisaged in Section 137 (1) (b) of the Constitution.

“The 1st defendant is constitutionally not qualified to contest any presidential election in Nigeria, having been elected, sworn-in and held the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on two previous occasions.”

The plaintiff wants the court to declare that, having regard to the clear, unambiguous and express provisions, spirit and tenor of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (Fourth Alteration Act No. 16), which provided a new subsection (3) to Section 137 of the Constitution, the 1st defendant is not qualified to contest any presidential election in Nigeria.

RAI wants an order perpetually restraining, prohibiting and barring the 2nd defendant (the APC) from nominating Jonathan as its presidential candidate for the 2023 presidential election on the grounds that he is constitutionally not qualified to contest any presidential election in Nigeria, having been elected sworn-in and held the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on two previous occasions.

The plaintiff also wants the court to issue an order perpetually restraining, prohibiting and barring the 3rd defendant (INEC) from accepting the nomination of the 1st defendant as the presidential candidate of the 2nd defendant for the 2023 presidential election on the grounds that Jonathan is constitutionally not qualified to contest any presidential election in Nigeria, having been elected, sworn-in and held the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on two previous occasions

 

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