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Goodluck Jonathan’s presidential ambition faces threats

Goodluck Jonathan’s presidential ambition faces threats

The Igbo Leadership Development Foundation (ILDF) has threatened to challenge former president Goodluck Jonathan in court should he declare his intention to contest for the presidency in 2023.

The ex-president is rumored to be set to accept offers of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and President Muhammadu Buhari to join the race under the platform of APC.

The vice chairman/director of public affairs, ILDF, Dr. Law Mefor, says his group will be going to court to challenge Jonathan.

Explaining the stand of the ILDF, Mefor, who believes the next president should be from the South-East region, argued that Jonathan had been affected by the constitutional amendment and thus had no right to contest.

He said, “I have said it before and I’m saying it again. We will go to court to challenge it if Jonathan joins the presidential race.

“What my group, Igbo Leadership Development Foundation, would test in court is whether Jonathan can be sworn in as President of Nigeria a third time despite the express constitutional provision against it.

“We are just waiting for Jonathan to pick up a political party’s nomination form and the Igbo Leadership Development Foundation will approach a court of competent jurisdiction to challenge his qualification to stand this election. I have nothing personal against Jonathan. After all, I was in his media team in 2015 but we have to do things right as a nation under the law and not as a nation of impunity.”

Jonathan had, while addressing supporters last week, informed them that he was still consulting on whether to contest and asked them to “watch out”.

A lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN), said any party that picked Jonathan as its candidate risked being disqualified.

A said this in a statement, adding that “It has been confirmed that former President Goodluck Jonathan has decided to join the APC for the purpose of contesting the 2023 presidential election. However, the former President is disqualified from contesting the election by virtue of 137 (3) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999.

“Some people have said that the amendment is not retrospective and therefore cannot apply to Dr. Jonathan.  Assuming without conceding that the amendment is not retrospective, it is submitted that under the current constitution a President or governor cannot spend more than terms of eight years.

“In other words, the constitution will not allow anyone to be in office for more than a cumulative period of eight years.  In Marwa v. Nyako (2012) 6 NWLR (Pt.1296) 199 at 387 the Supreme Court stated that Section 180 (1) and (2)(a) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has prescribed a single term of four years and if a second term, another period of four years and not a day longer.”

He noted that in the case of Governor Rasheed Ladoja v INEC, the Supreme Court rejected the prayer of Ladoja for 11 months’ extension to cover the period he was kept out of office through an illegal impeachment.

Falana added that the Supreme Court rejected the prayer on the grounds that a governor was entitled to spend a maximum period of eight years or less and not more than eight years.


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