I’m serving my first term as President —Jonathan

Following attempts by a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to scuttle President Goodluck Jonathan’s speculated 2015 bid, the President has told an Abuja High Court that he is currently doing his first term of four years in office as the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as provided by the 1999 constitution.

Jonathan also emphasized that he has not indicated or announced anywhere that he would contest the presidential elections in 2015.

The party’s chieftain, Mr Cyriacus Njoku who had attempted to stop the President from contesting the 2011 Presidential election on the ground that Jonathan’s candidacy violated the zoning principle of the party, had filed the present suit before an Abuja High Court last month. He is asking it to stop President Jonathan from contesting the 2015 presidential elections on the grounds that he is already in his second term in office.

The suit followed a declaration by the President sometime in March, that he is serving his first term in office.

Mr Njoku rejected that declaration and insisted that Jonathan is currently running a second term in office and cannot be a candidate in 2015. He also said the President cannot swear to an Oath of Office thrice in the light of Section 137(1) (b) of the 1999 Constitution.

Those joined in the matter are the President, the PDP and the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.

But in a 15-paragraph counter affidavit filed by President Jonathan’s lawyer, Mr Ade Okeaya-Inneh, a senior advocate of Nigeria, the President described the suit as frivolous and vexatious having failed to disclose reasonable cause of action.

A senior Special Assistant to Jonathan, Mr Mattew Aikhionbare and Dr Reuben Abati, the Presidential Spokesman, in their depositions posited that President Jonathan is currently doing his first term of 4 years in office as the president of Nigeria as provided by the 1999 constitution as amended and that the President’s status and position is formidably backed by the 1999 costitution.

The Presidential aides argue that the constitution of Nigeria only makes provisions for a president to contest for not more than 2 terms of 4 years each and that their principal has not indicated or announced anywhere whether in words or in writing that he will contest for the presidential elections to be conducted in 2015.

“The Late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua contested and won the presidential elections conducted in 2007 for a one term of four years. He was the president from May 29, 2007 until sometime in May 2010 when he passed on. Yar’Adua’s four years was to end in 2011″ they insisted.

Jonathan averred further that on May 6, 2010 he was sworn in as the president after the demise of the Late President Yar’Adua thereby completing Yara’Adua’s 12 months of the 4 years tenure.

He declared once more that this is the first time he is coming to power as the president of Nigeria through a conducted election wherein he was voted as the presidential candidate of his party, PDP.

Mr. Njoku had raised two questions for determination by the court. These are, whether Section 135(2) of the Constitution which specifies a period of four years in office for the President is only available or applicable to a person elected on the basis of an actual election or includes one in which a person assumes the position of President by operation of law as in the case of Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, and whether Section 137(1)(b) of the 1999 Constitution which provides that a person shall not be qualified for election to the office of President if he has been elected to such office at any two previous elections applies President Jonathan who first took an Oath of Office as substantive President on May 6, 2010 and took a second Oath of Office as President on May 29, last year.

The presiding judge, Justice Mudashiru Onyangi, has fixed further hearing into the matter for 18th April.

-PMnews

20 COMMENTS

  1. All these political harlots, you are all interested in yourselves and not for the masses. why don’t you wait and see the dividend of Jonathan’s administration and see if it is worth the while of voting him again or not.

  2. I am not surprise about what Mr Syracus said, after all the Igbos are the most unstable people when it comes to politics. He tried the first time and failed and now he want to try again, I am sure he will fail again. I doubt if he is a member of PDP and I also doubt if he is a true Igbo man.except he is working for another group or zone.

    If Mr Syracus Njoku love Nigeria as he said,the best he can do is to help proffer solutions to the present challenging situations facing the country now instead of distracting Mr President with 2nd term and 3rd term issues. If anybody should want to distract Mr President with none relevant issues, it should not come from the South-East.

    If Mr President were an Igbo man, he would have since been removed from the office by his own brothers. Think of what happened when Senate Presidency was zoned to the South-East or when the Chairmanship of PDP was given to the Igbos, if not that the leadership in its wisdom said that enough is enough, the position would have gone round the five States before living the zone as it were during the Senate Presidency. Its when it was given to another zone that it became clear that one Senate President can serve-out his tenure without being disgraced out of office by his own people.

    Igbos should put their house in order before 2015 or whenever, else every family as usual will produce a Presidential candidate without any of them willing to step down for another, what a shame.

  3. I wonder why it is now difficult for the president to reaffirm the claim of baba obj at the time of his campaign that jonathan is making sacrifice of his right coming on board for only one term. aba! power dey sweet this nigeria leaders too much!

  4. I wonder why it is now difficult for the president to reaffirm the claim of baba obj at the time of his campaign that jonathan is making sacrifice of his right by coming on board for only one term. aba! power dey sweet this nigeria leaders too much!

  5. Ibo politicians are mostly disgruntle,good for nothing GOLD DIGGERS and absolute disgrace to the south East.learn from ur elders like Zik and Ojukwu.they were responsible leaders.Imagine how u behave when u were asked to produce a senate president.u end up producing senate presidents within a short period of time.What a shame!

  6. Mr Adewale Ige your comments shows how backward you are!!!! Simply bcos the fellows name is of Igbo nation, you stooped so low and whitewashed a generation!!! Don’t two siblings ever disagree in your own home town???? How many Igbos are following the litigant???

  7. Well Presidential candidate in 2015 is not the problem but we the electorates. We should not sell our vote for any reason but vote for a good candidate. We will all agree that Nigeria is well blessed but we are facing the problem of bad leaders & corrupt politicians. It is high time we shun sentiment & tribalism but for the right person. Nigeria will have no option than to vote out GEJ if he end his regim d way it is going now, that is, if allowed to contest at all. But if he deliver well, we will also embrace him if allowed to contest.

  8. Any way, Njoku is only tryin to bid by de constitutn of Fed Rep of Nig. The Ist issue here is dat de presidin judge should be realistic in exhbitin his verdict. As 4 GEJ, 1 gud turn it says deserves another!. The masses ar still watchin & recordin de expeditn of ur leadership. NJOKU ‘ve his plan, Ebele ‘ve his plan, even Buhari (who formely said he ‘ll not contest again) ‘ve his plan. But in all God ‘ve de final say!

  9. buhari promised he will not contest again bt now he is changing his mind, luckyman (Jonathan) promised he would serve for only one term, also he is now changing his mind. The contest of 2011 will repeat itself, so help us God.

  10. Greedy politicians. You always talk of power & not about devidence of democracy. For how long shall we live in consistent blackout from PHCN. There is no best candidate that wil make progres without d support of all. We are in 2012 and want to experience changes in 2012. We dont know 2015 yet. Stop distracting GEJ

  11. Wht a shame 4 d greed n useless president,i.e GEJ dat wants 2 contest an election in 2015 without doin nothin 2 Nigerians n insecurity becoms rampant anywhere, who wil vote 4 him?

  12. Whether u lik it or nt our present leaders are currupt… Let try this BUHARI history hv shown he hv no problem, dis tm no tribalism, no religion sentiment, BUHARI 4 Nigeria 2015.

  13. Nigerians have an opportunity to test the constitution on this matter. One can imagine a situation whereby a president dies just one month after being sworn in and his deputy steps in like Jonathan. After spending his late Boss’ 4 years, will he still be entitled to his own two terms? The Judiciary has a job to do to make this clarification once and for all.

  14. Jonathan just like every other Nigerian has the right for two tenure. It is his inalienable right and must not be trampled upon.

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