2015: Court reserves ruling on Jonathan's eligibility
An Abuja Federal High Court on Monday reserved ruling until Jan. 12 in a suit filed by Olatoye Wahab and Adejumo Ajegbe, seeking to disqualify President Goodluck Jonathan from seeking re-election.
Justice Ahmed Mohammed reserved the ruling after listening to the submissions of both counsel to the plaintiffs and Mr Mohammed Adoke (SAN), the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice.
The plaintiffs had urged the court to determine whether the President was constitutionally eligible to seek re-election, having participated as candidate and emerged winner in two previous presidential elections.
They contended that Jonathan had in 2007 contested and won presidential election on a joint ticket with late President Umaru Yar'Adua and in 2011, thereby taking oath of office twice.
They argued that Jonathan would have been sworn-in twice and spent a commutative period of more than eight years as prescribed by the 1999 Constitution as amended.
The plaintiffs also argued that by the combined effect of Section 135(2) (a) and (b) of the Nigerian Constitution, a person sworn-in twice as President is deemed to have been elected to that office twice.
They, therefore, urged the court to determine whether Jonathan, having been elected and sworn-in twice would not have exhausted the constitutionally allowed maximum of two terms if allowed to seek re-election.
Mr Mahmoud Magaji (SAN), Counsel to the plaintiffs, on Monday, brought an application seeking to transfer the suit to Court of Appeal for determination.
However, the application was opposed by the Attorney-General of the Federation's counsel, who argued that “the Federal High Court is constitutionally empowered to interpret the constitution and determine the case.''
He said that the case bordered on interpretation of the provisions of the constitution and referring it to the Court of Appeal would amount to the trial court abandoning its responsibility.
Justice Mohammed, therefore, adjourned the case until Jan. 12, 2015 for ruling on the application.