2015: Court Clears Jonathan To Contest

Source: pointblanknews.com
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A Federal High Court in Kaduna on Monday struck out a suit seeking to

restrain President Goodluck Jonathan from seeking re-election in the 2015

general elections brought before it by two leaders of the People's

Democratic Party (PDP).
The plaintiffs, Richard Mneaga, and Shuaibu Lill had sought for, among

other prayers, an order of the court to disqualify Jonathan from

presenting himself as a presidential candidate of the PDP in the 2015

election, and for the court to order the Independent National Electoral

Commission (INEC) to restrain the PDP from accepting nomination of

Jonathan as its presidential candidate in the 2015 election.

In the suit, filed on October 7, 2013, they insisted that Jonathan had

completed eight years in office as President of the Federal Republic of

Nigeria calculated from May 29, 2007.
The plaintiffs also sought for “a declaration that President Jonathan is

not entitled to tenure of office as President exceeding eight years

calculated from 2007, till last holder of the said office”.

Ruling on the case, the presiding judge, Justice Evelyn Anyadike said the

plaintiffs lacked the locus standi to drag President Jonathan to court

based on section 308 of the Constitution which gives him immunity not to

sue or be sued, and therefore affirmed that Jonathan has the

constitutional right to contest for presidency in 2015 if he so desire.

She also said the court lacks the jurisdiction to entertain the matter

since the plaintiffs did not follow the due process of filing their case,

saying the petition was served out of jurisdiction. She however dismissed

the case for lack of merit.
Reacting to the judgment, counsel to the plaintiffs, Mohammed Ibrahim,

faulted the technicalities on which the judge relied to deliver her

judgement instead of looking at the matter from its merit.

He, however, said they would proceed to the Appeal Court for further

interpretation of the lower court judgement and also for the upper court

to determine whether President Jonathan had the constitutional right to

seek another term in office in 2015.
But Counsels to the first and second defendants, President Goodluck

Jonathan and the PDP, Nnamdi Ekwem and Victor Kwon respectively, hailed

the judgment, describing it as another landmark victory for democracy and

rule of law.
They faulted the petitioners for dragging Jonathan to court since he has

not declared his intention to contest for the presidency in 2015.