BusinessDay

Why Jonathan is ineligible to contest again

Former President Goodluck Jonathan who was defeated by the incumbent in the 2015 election can no longer contest for election to the highest office following the 2018 amendment to the constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria.

That amendment rules out Jonathan on the ground that he was sworn to complete the term of the late president Yar Adua and then went on to win another term in 2011.

According to a BusinessDay investigation, on the 26th of July 2017, the Nigerian Senate passed a bill to amend the Constitution. The House of Representatives then followed up on October 23, 2017, by giving its concurrence to the same Bill.

Records show that President, Muhammadu Buhari, assented to the constitutional amendment bill on the 11th of June 2018 to make it an Act.

Read also: 2023 Presidency: Jonathan divides Nigeria

That Act is now referred to as the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 ( 4th alteration, No.16) Act, of 2017 and altered section 137 of the Nigerian Constitution by inserting a new sub section.. . .section 137 (3) of the 1999 Constitution.

It provides as follows “A person who was sworn-in to complete the Term for which another person was elected as President, shall not be elected to such office for more than a single Term.”

Goodluck Jonathan, having been sworn-in to complete the tenure of President Yaradua upon his death; and having been elected thereafter, for a period of four years that ended in 2015, can no longer contest in 2023. He is now constitutionally barred.

It would seem that all those who are calling on him, including those youths who purportedly stormed his office few days ago, to beckon on him to contest in 2023, are doing so in futility.

According to one lawyer, “it appears that even Jonathan, including his handlers, are either unaware of this provision of the 1999 Constitution as amended or are playing games.”.

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