From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
A Federal High Court sitting in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State has declared that former President Goodluck Jonathan is constitutionally eligible to contest the 2023 Presidential elections.
Justice Isa Hamma Dashen in his ruling in a suit FHC/YNG/CS/2022 filed by Andy Solomon and Idibiye Abraham which seeks declaration to the effect that Jonathan is ineligible to contest the 2023 presidential election, ruled that Jonathan is qualified to contest.
The plaintiffs had seek accelerated hearing holding that by virtue of the fact that he has taken oath of President twice and that by the provision of section 137(3) of the Nigerian Constitution, he cannot seek re-election.
However Justice Dashen in his ruling said the only oath of office taken by Jonathan as elected President was in May 29 2011 after he completed the aborted tenure of late President Umaru Yar’ Adua.
He also ruled that the provision of section 137 (3) cannot apply retroactively to deny former President Jonathan the right to contest.