Jonathan not the target of constitution amendment — Constitutional Lawyer •Says ex-president free to contest

Posted by Pamela Eboh, Awka | 28 June 2018 | 1,088 times

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•Former President Goodluck Jonathan

A politician cum Constitutional Lawyer, Okoli Akirika, has hailed the National Assembly for the recent constitutional amendment by the National Assembly saying it would cure the kind of stalemate that arose during the death of former President Umaru Yar’Adua.

Akirika, who spoke in Awka on Saturday ,explained that the new law had barred any person from occupying the office of president or governor for more than eight years.

He observed that the amendment was not targeted at ex President Goodluck Jonathan, saying that by contextual and community reading of sections 135 and 137 of the constitution would not bar the former president from contesting any presidential election if he so desires to run.

Akirika said: “Because he did not swear under the amended constitution as president of Nigeria, he can run.

“Under section 137: (1b) 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.

“Would you say Jonathan has been elected to the office of president in two previous elections?

“In as much as I don’t think Jonathan is harbouring any intention to contest for Nigerian president now or in future, I don’t think the amended constitution can stop him if he chooses to run because he was not sworn in as president of Nigeria under the amended constitution.”

While saying that the amendment, which was assented to by President Muhammadu Buhari stipulates that anyone who had been sworn in as president or governor to complete the term of the elected president or governor cannot do more than a single term, he noted that Law does not act in retrospective.

According to the Lawyer, Jonathan was sworn in as president in May 2010 after the death of President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, and after completing Yar’Adua’s tenure, he ran and won the presidential election in 2011. He however contested in the 2015 presidential election but lost to Buhari.

Source: News Express

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