Abuja High Court Grants President Jonathan Clean Slate To Run For 2015 Presidential Election
Delivering a judgment in an action brought by Mr. Cyriacus Njoku challenging Jonathan’s eligibility to contest the election, Justice Mudashiru Oniyangi held that the president’s assumption of office in 2010 as a result of the death of then President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, was caused by “doctrine of necessity” motion adopted by the National Assembly.
Njoku, who is also a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), had filed the action against Jonathan, PDP and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), seeking an order to prevent Jonathan from contesting the 2015 presidential election, having taken the oath of office and oath of allegiance twice. The plaintiff, who is a card carrying member of PDP from Zuba Ward in Abuja, also prayed for a perpetual order of injunction to stop PDP from nominating Jonathan for another presidential election and INEC from accepting any nomination of Jonathan as a presidential candidate.
However, Justice Oniyangi declined Njoku’s request as he held that since Jonathan did not emerge president through a by-election after late President Yar’Adua’s death, he could contest.
“After the death of Umar Yar’Adua, there was no election or by-election. President Jonathan was merely asked to assume the office of the president in line with the doctrine of necessity. He was not elected as the president but was made to assume office by virtue of Yar’Adua’s death.
“Having exhausted the late president’s tenure, he sought for his party’s ticket and ran for the office of the president successfully in 2011 general election. He is therefore currently serving his first tenure of office and if he so wishes, he is eligible to further seek his party’s ticket through the party’s primary election and to run for office in 2015,” Justice Oniyangi said.
The Judge ruled that President Jonathan’s tenure as president started running in May 29, 2011 when he took the oath of office and not on May 6, 2010, when he assumed office after Yar’Adua passed away.