Thursday, April 24, 2014

Jonathan can contest in 2015, Abuja court rules

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President Jonathan and party chiefs at a PDP National Convention

The court said the Nigerian President can contest for a second term.

An Abuja High Court on Friday ruled that President Goodluck Jonathan is eligible to contest the 2015 presidential election.

A claimant, Cyriacus Njoku, had asked the court to declare President Jonathan ineligible on the basis that under the Nigerian constitution, he could not take the oath of office of the president three times.

Mr. Jonathan has taken the oath twice: first after the death of his predecessor, Umaru Yar’Adua in 2010; and again after he was elected as president in 2011.

The court dismissed the claim, ruling that the constitution allowed the president two terms in office.

Earlier in the week, the Chairman of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, Bamanga Tukur, declared that the president could seek a second term on the party’s platform.

Though Mr. Jonathan has not declared his intention to run, his supporters are already asking him to.

Some governors in the president’s party, however, accuse him of betraying a pledge he made in 2011, not to seek a second term in office. Babangida Aliyu, Governor of Niger State, said publicly that Mr. Jonathan signed an agreement with PDP governors in 2011 not to seek a second term.

The president’s aides have denied the existence of such agreement.

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