Jonathan took oath of office once, eligible for 2015 election – Appeal Court

President Goodluck Jonathan

‎The Court of Appeal, Abuja Division, has ruled that President Goodluck Jonathan has only taken oath of office once and therefore upheld his eligibility to contest the forthcoming Nigeria’s presidential election slated for March 28.

The court held that the oath of office Mr. Jonathan took in 2010 was to complete the “unexpired tenure” of late President Umar Yar’Adua.

The appellate court delivered the judgement Tuesday.

The appeal was brought before the court by Cyriacus Njoku who was challenging the ruling of the High Court of Federal Capital Territory, Abuja which on March 1, 2013 dismissed the suit he filed to stop Mr. Jonathan from contesting the 2015 polls.

In a lead judgement delivered by Justice Abubakat Yahaya, the full panel of the court unanimously held that Mr. Jonathan had only spent one term in office as President going by the provision of the Constitution.

Mr. Jonathan was empowered as acting President on February 9, 2010, following a motion for “doctrine of necessity” by the Senate, owing to the protracted stay of late President Umaru Yar’Adua in Saudi Arabia for medical treatment.

When Mr. Yar’Adua eventually died on May 5, Mr. Jonathan was sworn in as president. He was elected President in 2011.

Mr. Njoku had submitted that Mr. Jonathan had sworn to oath of office and allegiance twice and therefore, should be disqualified from contesting the next election as victory would amount to being sworn in thrice.

But the court ruled that the oath Mr. Jonathan took in 2010 was to complete the unexpired tenure of late Yar’Adua, adding that by virtue of Section 135 (2)(b) of the Constitution, Jonathan took his first oath in May 2011. More over, it held that disqualification is through election, not oath taking.

The judgement read in part: “In this appeal, it is not controverted by the appellant that the first oath taken by the first defendant (Jonathan) was the oath he took as the Vice President and not as President.

“But he took the oath in May 2010 to complete unexpired tenure of late Umaru Musa Yar’Adua.

” Section 37(1)(b) disqualifies a person from contesting for president if he had been elected twice. Disqualification is through election and not oath taking. Election is a process of choosing a person to occupy a position by voting. When election is given its literal meaning, it connotes when a voting is employed to choose a person for political office.

“This did not take place when Jonathan stepped into the shoes of his Principal who went to the great beyond. To say these things were done is to import words not used by the constitution.‎ Section 146(1) of the constitution cannot be deemed an election for a VP to step into the office of a President.

“Election involves conducting primaries by party, nomination, election and announcement of results. All these processes were not done . If a VP suceeds a President that dies, that cannot be challenged. It is amode of stepping into the vacant office provided for by the constitution.

“When a President dies, the Vice President automatically becomes President as provided for by S130 (1)(2) of the 1999 constitution.”

It further held that, “It was not election that produced the first respondent in May 2010, the oath he took then was not an oath of elected President as provided for by Section 180 of the constitution.

“The process of election was followed in 2011. The oath of office taken in 2011 was the first oath taking by the first respondent as an elected President having fulfilled all the process of election.”

The court therefore upheld the decision of the lower court which dismissed Mr. Njoku’s suit for lack of locus standi.

It noted that “it is fundamental that where a party lacks locus, the court cannot assume jurisdiction.”

“We agree with the lower court that the appellant has no locus to sue,” the court held.

On the cause of action, the court held that the case of the appellant was “speculative and imaginary as none of the reliefs he sought accrued to him any benefit”.

The court had earlier noted that a cause of action is what gives right to a plaintiff to sue in a matter.

The court awarded the sum of N50,000 each as cost to the defendant.


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  • Newsbreak

    The presidential ambition of President Goodluck Jonathan on Tuesday got a major boost
    as the Appeal Court in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, on Tuesday confirmed that he is quite
    is eligible to seek a second term in office in the 2015 presidential election.

    Delivering judgement on a suit challenging President Jonathan’s eligibility, the Appeal Court
    held that the first tenure of President Jonathan started in 2011, after he was elected President
    in the April 11 election.

    The court struck out the suit against Jonathan and held that the President took his first oath of office
    on May 29, 2011 and that May 2015 would NOT be the end of a second tenure as claimed by appellants.

    It also ruled that “Jonathan becoming president on May 6, 2010 is by <i."operation of a constitutional
    provision following the demise of the substantive president”.

  • Repeater Station

    A VOTE FOR BUHARI IN YORUBALAND WILL MEAN THAT….

    “If the Yorubas vote for Buhari because their son is the national
    leader of the APC South-west, then it will prove that Bola Tinubu
    is the un-disputed leader of the Yorubas. This is because his people
    shall have spoken and therefore hearkened to Bola Tinubu’s directives.

    But if not, then it will be laid to rest that Bola Tinubu is NOT the leader of the Yoruba.
    As you can see, some recognised leaders of the South-west have decided and urged
    their followers in the zone to vote for President Jonathan as the preferred presidential
    candidate. “This is why Jonathan will beat Buhari hands down in Yorubaland and,
    in-directly settle the leadership among the Yorubas”.

    ……….Governor Sule Lamido

    (Jigawa State, March 3rd, 2015)

    • Examiner

      BEFORE BUHARI CAN BE AVAILABLE ON MARCH 28TH
      TO RECEIVE ANYBODY’S VOTE, HE HAS TO TO DO
      THE FOLLOWING WITHOUT MUCH FURTHER DELAY:

    • Kay Soyemi (Esq.)

      Pure bunkum!

      The Yoruba will vote fror GMB in the prevailing circumstances.

      Only deranged Yorubas or those benefitting from the rot that Jonothing represents would even contemplate the thought.

      How do you compare oranges and apples?

      • Isi Agwo

        Oh yes, Yorubas living in London will vote massively for Bokohari on the Internet. Additionally, if he subsequently succeeds in his ongoing application for asylum in UK (because of his fear of being tried as the nominated spokesman of Boko Haram), they will vote for him as councillor in Cambridge where they have his WASC in safe custody.

        • Kay Soyemi (Esq.)

          No, we will support him with money and lean on our own people back home to vote for him.

          • Gran puba

            Kay Kay kay. How many times I call u. Though i don’t for one sec. believe u are in Obodo Queen Elizabeth. But If your abode is UK U cry, then I now know you are not in the leagues of the power weights of political. where is your beef to fund Buhari. It’s gonna take a miracle for Buhari.
            Dude, for now miracles are not available to Boko haram sympathisers.

          • Kay Soyemi (Esq.)

            Yawn!

  • Chris1408

    Nigerian judiciary is the most corrupt in the world. They need the Chinese treatment for corrupt officials

    • Kay Soyemi (Esq.)

      Bruv, I do believe the Judiciary made the right call on this.

      GEJ always had the right to contest this election, what he lacks is the ability and credibility.

      The clay giant must not be restrained from playing in the rain or the river if it so desires.

      It is up to Nigerians to send him packing out of Aso Rock.

      • Tomorie

        You’re right my broda, but don’t bet on him leaving quietly without putting up a fight.

      • SayNo2Tribalism

        Mr Kay with due respect to the court I always thought that ours is a two-man rule system. One cannot be elected to an executive office without a deputy. Power is transient between the two so it should mean “their term” unlike the reference “Yaradua’s term”

        • Kay Soyemi (Esq.)

          Hmmm….

          Good point. I never thought about that.

          I am not sure the framers of the Constitution thought about that scenario as well and had assumed a functional society where there is order.

          I will have to go and read up on that aspect otherwise any response I can give you would be pure conjecture and dare I say, rubbish.

          Many thanks for opening my eyes to a shortcoming.

    • Examiner

      THE LITMUS TEST FOR THE JUDICIARY IS THIS NEXT CASE.
      FOR BUHARI TO GET ANYBODY’S VOTE ON MARCH 28TH
      HE MUST DO THE FOLLOWING FIRST AND WITHOUT DELAY:

  • Ugoo Ben

    It’s just a shame the kind of appeal court judges we have these days. Because of this judgement, Governor Rotimi Amaechi can wake up tomorrow and decide to run for a third term, since he wasn’t elected in his first tenure. Drawing an inference from this disastrous judgement, Rotimi Amaechi was made a governor not by an election but by an act of the supreme court. If the Supreme Court upholds this kangaroo judgement, it means Nigeria has set a very dangerous judicial precedence. But I trust the learned Justices at the Supreme Court. I await their verdict on this matter.

    • Debo

      I understand your fears but Ameachi’s case is quite different. the supreme court ruled that it is the party that won the election so he assumed the position by virtue of being the party’s new candidate. There was an election which resulted in his oath taking, so he was elected by proxy.

  • Ndubuisi Chinedu

    They said he promised them that he will only be there for four years and then give them power back..it failed. They started de camped to apc and branded pdp that they have wined and dined for so many years as corrupt party.. it failed. They went to court seeking to stop him from contesting in the forth coming presidential election alleging that he has already sworn an oath of office twice.. it failed. They create terrorism in Nigeria aka bokoharam with premium times, sahara reporters and the nation as their media outlet..its failing them now……stop the born to rule mentality, Nigeria belongs to us all…..GEJ till 2019

  • Bassey

    Nice judgement. I wonder what those lawyers were thinking, it’s like filing a case doesn’t require any payment because some cases these lawyers file in court could be so meaningless. Sign of Victory on 28th March 2015!

  • Nelson David

    Let us hear what the court says about Buhari’s eligibility for his fake certificate… The law must prevail… Thank God GEJ was tried in court and found not guilty… Let us see pa, Buharis too.

  • favourtalk

    Change is coming to change him in march 28, he should continue to be decieving himself, we deserve better in this country. We are voting him out rightly with our PVC

  • chinwe davis

    Yay!!! and am happy to hear this, i know that court case was no matter at all.

    • PK

      Just as Buhari’s case is no matter at all. Only the braindead would think otherwise.

  • Acting president under yar’ adua’s administration, well i said before that the eligibility case doesn’t hold any water, congrats none the less Mr. president.

  • nothing do you my C-in-C, we knew you’ve been eligible from the start. so we endorse and support you.

  • chi boss

    God keeps vindicating Jonathan, he has been cleared to contest again..Congratulations are in other Sir!!!! He will win.Vote President Goodluck Jonathan for forward ever.#Nigeria #GEJ4NAIJA

    • Beaf

      You can whine all you like. Anyway, not long to go before your crowned clown in chief is booted out of office. He has been a curse on the nation and that curse must be exorcised come March 28.

  • grace folarin

    if somebody has done well, his good works should be rewarded. President GEJ has performed well without reasonable doubt. bringing nigeria to the state she is now could not have been done over night but he has done good. now its our time to reward him and he has for a second term. i believe he deserves it. VOTE GEJ FOR 2015. #GEJ4NAIJA

  • blueeyedkitten

    thank you very much court. we’d actually want to beat him hands down. we dont want any shortcut. we shall show him that: despite all his state powers, mago-mago and wuru-wuru, we’d defeat him and his cabal; and send him back to otueke in a little box(by the special grace of Almighty God). common jonathan!

  • Nwaobilor

    WORD!!!

  • Emeka215

    The fact has been proven, what else do you need to know Jonathan will win.

  • nwaeke

    PDP is too strong to be defeated.

  • Enumah

    The battle line is drwan and the difference is so clear now more than ever. Jonathan will win.

  • JibrilMusagroup

    President Goodluck Jonathan is the Nigeria ‘Face of Monument’.
    Nigeria is bigger to be manipulated by some group of people that think they are
    smart to brain wash Nigerians, time has come for transformation. We shall stand
    to continue with President Goodluck transformation agenda. That era of
    rascality and bragging is gone. With President Goodluck you are giving your
    life a meaning. #goodluck4president

  • geraldine jaja

    Good judgement!, GEJ win#GODwin!

  • uko bassey

    Winning is Mr President’s hobby!

    • ahmed

      i’m telling you!

  • geraldine jaja

    Thats Great Judgement! The APC has been put to shame!

  • New Nigerian

    ah..whatever… This judgement spins logic on it’s head. It says he took the oath of office once to complete the term of Yaradua and then take another oath of office once for his own term….LOL

    This should be appealed to the supreme court. Just so Nigerians are not laughed at – we owe it to ourselves as a people to be dignified in our own eyes. The reason it should be appealed is simple. We know Jonathan by now. He will want to kill all Nigerians in the process of rigging the election for himself. He is known to be a fascist and he will do it – even with all these noise, at least he would attempt – this case is another option for the masses to ensure that Nigerians sunset his administration wether he kill more of us as he rigs, the supreme court can bring a clear judgement to ensure that his runner-up in the rigged election (which the masses voted for in the first place) is sworn in. So the case should be appealed.

  • Some people have obviously lost sleep and money for nothing.

  • Uncle Charlie

    Congrats GEJ. We are returning you back to office come March 28

  • felicia jones

    I sat and wondered if these people knew the constitution, because PGEJ only completed the former Presidents tenure.

  • kingsley obi

    This is a step in the right direction.

  • Mrs benita akpan

    GEJ has been proven to be a man with high regards for the rule of law.

  • faith adams

    I feel nothing but joy for the victory.

  • Okwuchukwu

    Is the APC so afraid of losing against him that they want to prevent him from running altogether?

    • Hadiza Okafor

      That is exactly why

  • Victor Okonkwo

    All patriots rejoice. GEJ would probably have stepped aside if the judgement had stated otherwise. that is how much of a democrat he is.