Eligibility Suit against Jonathan: We will Meet in Court, Says PDP Campaign Group

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential campaign organisation has affirmed its readiness to defend the eligibility of its presidential candidate, Dr Goodluck Jonathan, to contest the next presidential election in court.

The Director of Legal Affairs of the campaign, Prince Adetokunbo Kayode (SAN), made this known while reacting to a suit filed at the Federal High Court in Abuja challenging the eligibility of President Jonathan.

The plaintiffs, who include Prof. Tunde Samuel, Dr. Junaid Mohammed, Mr. Razak Adeosun and Yahaya Ezemoo, are pleading with the court to restrain Jonathan from contesting, putting himself forward and or accepting to contest for the office of the president, of Nigeria at the 2015 presidential election.

Prince Kayode who described the suit as a political game being played for the umpteenth time, affirmed: “We will meet in court,” saying the case is a flagrant and desperate abuse of court process.

“Even though President Jonathan was sworn in as president in 2010 by the operation of the constitution (sections 146(1), it was mainly to conclude President Yar ‘Adua’s tenure, not to serve a four year elected tenure. That tenure expired on May 29, 2011, if President Umaru Yar’Adua were alive, he would have had to vacate office. Unless of course if he had secured a second term mandate.

Meanwhile, efforts to use the court to thwart the ambition of the two front-line candidates in the February 14th presidential elections continued as four people namely Professor Tunde Samuel, Dr. Junaidu Mohammed, Mr. Rasak Adeogun and Yahaya Ezeemoo Ndu asked a Federal High Court to restrain President Goodluck Jonathan from contesting the elections.

In an originating summons issued by Malam Yusuf Ali, SAN, the plaintiffs contended that Jonathan was ineligible for re-election because to do otherwise is to allow him spend more than eight years allowed for anyone to serve as president.
They asked the court to declare that by virtue of the provisions of the constitution it was unconstitutional, unlawful, illegal and not permissible for any person to occupy the office of the president of Nigeria for more that a cumulative and aggregate period of eight years when the country was not at war.

They also asked the court to hold that having regards to the constitution, Jonathan was not eligible to seek re-election into the office of president for another term of your years from 2015 as that would have permitted him to occupy the office of president for more than eight years.

They asked the court to declare that in computing the period already spent in office as president by Jonathan, the period from May 6, 2010 to May 28, 2011 should be reckoned with.

They also sought a declaration that having spent a period of more than four years in office as president reckoned from May 6, 2010, Jonathan is without competence, authority or entitlement to contest for the same office for another term of four years.

The  trial judge, Justice Ahmed Mohammed has fixed the case for February 11 for the hearing of the originating summons.

Two similar cases were pending before the same court.

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