Eligibility: Jonathan qualify to run – Appeal Court

Eligibility: Jonathan qualify to run – Appeal Court

The Court of Appeal in Abuja has declared
President Goodluck Jonathan eligible to
seek reelection in the forthcoming
presidential poll.
It held that as much as the President had
only taken the oath of office as elected
President only once in 2011, he was
qualified to stand for election into the office
another time.
The lead judgment delivered by Justice
Datijo Yahaya was unanimously consented
to by four other members of the appeal
panel.
Justices Akomolafe Wilson, T Y Hassan,
Ekanem Joseph and M Mustapha, were the
other members of the panel.
The judgment was in the appeal filed on
April 16, 2013 by Cyracus Njoku,
challenging the verdict delivered by Justice
Mudashiru Oniyangi, then of the High Court
of the Federal Capital Territory on March
13, 2013.
Njoku had filed the appeal after Justice
Oniyangi dismissed his (Njoku’s) suit and
held that President Jonathan was eligible to
contest in 2015.
Affirming the trial court’s judgment on
Tuesday, the five-man panel of the
appellate court, held that President
Jonathan could not be said to have earlier
taken the oath of office as President twice
as he became President upon the death of
President Umar Yar’Adua, not through
election.
The court held that Jonathan only took over
the office of the President in 2011 by mere
constitutional provisions.
The court noted that in Njoku’s appeal,
President Jonathan was not elected as
President in 2007, and that in 2010, he did
not stand for election as President, but only
stood for election in that capacity in 2011.
“He (Jonathan) has not been elected twice.
He only completed the unexpired tenure of
the late President Yaradua. His tenure
started on May 29, 2011.”
“The operative word is election. The
Constitution says if one had been elected at
two previous elections.

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