Court declares Goodluck Jonathan eligible to contest presidential election

…But, there’s still a dilly-dallying with whether he will contest in 2023 or not.

The Federal High Court sitting in Yenagoa has ruled that former President Goodluck Jonathan is eligible to contest the 2023 presidential election.

The presiding judge, Justice Isa Hamma Dashen gave the judgement on Friday.

He also held that Jonathan’s right to vie for the office of president again cannot be stopped by any retroactive law.

Jonathan, who was elected as Vice-President alongside the late President Umaru Yar’Adua in 2007, was inaugurated as President in 2010 following the death of Yar’Adua. In 2011, he ran for election and was again inaugurated.

In 2015, while running for another term, the courts ruled that Jonathan was eligible to contest as his first inauguration was done to complete Yar’Adua’s tenure.

However, in 2018, the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd.), signed the fourth alteration of the 1999 Constitution which bars Vice-Presidents who succeed their principals from serving more than one full term.

The ruling adds to the twists ahead of the 2023 general elections.

A coalition of northern groups had bought the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential nomination and expression of interest forms for the former president months after speculations emerged that he will join the ruling party.

Recently, it has been a back and forth, including whether he submitted the form or not, and if he’ll be a surprise candidate at the APC primaries. There are also stories suggesting he may not have fully registered with the ruling party.

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