Today in Abuja

COURT DISMISSES SUIT STOPPING JONATHAN FROM RE-CONTESTING 2015 PRESIDENCY

The Federal High Court in Kaduna,  Monday,  struck out a suit seeking to restrain President Goodluck Jonathan from seeking for re-election in  the 2015 general election  brought before it by two chieftains of the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP).

The  plaintiffs,  Richard Mneaga, and Shuaibu Lill had  sought for  among other, an order of the court to disqualify  Jonathan from presenting himself as the presidential candidate of the PDP in the 2015 election, and for  the court to order the Independent National Electoral Commission ( INEC)  to restrain the PDP from accepting the nomination of Jonathan as its  presidential candidate in the 2015 election.

In the suit, filed on  October 7, 2013,  the plaintiffs  insisted that Jonathan had completed eight years in office as President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,  calculated from May 29, 2007.

The palintiffs also sought for  “a declaration that President Jonathan is not entitled to a tenure of office as President exceeding eight years calculated from 2007, till last holder of the said office”.

However, ruling  on the case, the presiding judge, Justice Evelyn Anyadike  said the plaintiffs lack the locus standi to drag President Jonathan to court based on section 308 of the constitution which gives him immunity not to  sue or be sued,and therefore affirmed that  Jonathan has the constitutional right to contest for presidency in 2015 if he so desire.

She also said the court lacks the jurisdiction to entertain the matter  since the plaintiffs did not follow the due process of filing their case, stressing that the  petition was served out of jurisdiction.

The judge  dismissed the case for lack of merit.   However, reacting to the judgment, counsel to the plaintiffs, Mohammed Ibrahim faulted the technicalities on which the judge relied to deliver her judgement instead of looking at the matter based on its merit. He however said they will proceed to the Appeal Court for further interpretation of the judgement of the court.

Name of Author: 
Rana Bayok, Kaduna

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