Jonathan faces fresh hurdle ahead presidential ballot, dragged to court again

Posted by News Express | 14 January 2015 | 3,332 times

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A fresh lawsuit challenging the eligibility of President Goodluck Jonathan to contest the February 14 presidential election has been filed at the registry of the Abuja division of the Federal High Court.

In the suit filed on December 29, the plaintiff, Nkemjika Nkemjika, is asking the court to declare that the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has no candidate for the election.

The plaintiff argued that while the tenure of office of the late Alhaji Umaru Musa Yar’Adua as president ended the day he died on May 5, 2010, the first term tenure of office the Vice President who replaced him as President, ended on May 29, 2011.

In his originating summons filed by his counsel, Chris Ugwuala, the plaintiff said the second term of office of President Jonathan will end on May 29, 2015 because section 1352 (b) of the Constitution that enabled him to replace Yar’Adua as President on May 6, 2010, did not make any provision for a Vice President to complete the unexpired tenure of office or unexpired term of office of a deceased President.

The plaintiff, who is a research writer and co-author of the controversial book, Oil Exploration in Northern Nigeria: Problems and Prospects, said the only condition that would have enabled President Jonathan to lawfully contest the 2015 poll is if he had won an election overseen by the Senate President in 2010 in accordance with section 146 (2) of the Constitution.

The said section provides as follows:

“Where any vacancy occurs in the circumstances mentioned in subsection (1) of this section during a period when the office of the vice-president is also vacant, the president of the Senate shall hold the office of president for a period of not more than three months, during which there shall be an election of a new president, who shall hold office for the unexpired term of office of the last holder of the office.”

Nkemjika asked the court to determine whether, having regards to the provisions of section 135 (1) (b)and 135 (2) (b) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), the fourth defendant (President Jonathan) is qualified to stand for and contest as presidential candidate in the February 14, 2015 presidential election to be organized by the second defendant (INEC) under the platform of the third defendant (PDP) or under any political party for that matter.

•Photo shows President Jonathan.

Source: News Express

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