An Abuja High Court presided over by Justice Mudashiru Oniyangi has slated March 1 to determine whether President Goodluck Jonathan will be eligible to vie for the Presidency in 2015. The date is being fixed four months after Justice Oniyangi concluded hearing on the suit which was entered before the high court by an aggrieved member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Mr Cyriacus Njoku.
The plaintiff, who is a registered member of the PDP in Zuba ward, Abuja, in his suit, urged the court to among other things, determine “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.”
Contending that Jonathan was constitutionally barred from contesting the Presidency in 2015, Cyriacus prayed the court to determine “whether Section 137(1) (b) of the 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 to the first defendant, who first took an oath of office as substantive President on May 6, 2010 and took a second oath as President on May 29, 2011.”
He is also seeking a declaration that ‘the President’s tenure of office began on May 6, 2010 when his first term began and his two terms shall end on May 29, 2015 after taking his second oath of office on May 29, 2011; and by virtue of Section 136 (1) (b) of the Constitution, no person (including the first defendant) shall take the oath of allegiance and the oath of office prescribed to in the Seventh Schedule to this Constitution more than twice.
Njoku also asked the court for an order of injunction restraining President Jonathan from further contesting or attempting to vie for President after May 29, 2015 when his tenure shall by the Nigerian Constitution end.