UPDATE: Court strikes out suit challenging Jonathan’s eligibility for election

President Goodluck Jonathan

A Federal High Court in Abuja on Wednesday struck out a case challenging the eligibility of President Goodluck Jonathan for the 2015 election, after four plaintiffs who filed the case withdrew it.

Justice Ahmed Mohammed quashed the case after the plaintiffs, Junaidu Mohammed, Tunde Samuel, Rasak Adeogun and Yahaya Ezeemoo Ndu, said they were discontinuing.

The judge asked the plaintiffs to pay N50, 000 as cost to Mr. Jonathan.

‎The court had on February 3 fixed hearing of the suit for Wednesday, but the notice of discontinuance of the suit was filed a day later, on February 4.

Counsel to the plaintiffs, Alex Akoja, who appeared in court on Wednesday, said the plaintiffs gave the instruction to withdraw the suit and the notice of discontinuance was subsequently filed on February 4.

Mr. Jonathan’s counsel, Ade Okeanya-Inneh, did not oppose the application but asked for cost on behalf of the other lawyers.

The four plaintiffs had in the originating summons filed before the court asked it to restrain Mr. Jonathan from contesting in the elections.

They contended that he is ineligible for re-election ‎because if allowed he would have spent more than eight years which the Constitution allows. Should the president win a fresh term, it would also mean that Mr. Jonathan will take the oath of office thrice, against the acceptable two times.

They argued that an individual could only spend more than eight years in office as president when the country is at war‎.

They noted that in computing the period already spent in office as president by Mr. Jonathan, consideration should be given to the period from 6th day of May, 2010 to 28th May 2011 when he acted as president after the death of President Umaru Yar’Adua.

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