An Abuja High Court on Friday dismissed a suit that sought to bar President Jonathan from contesting the 2015 presidential election. Chief Cyriacus Njoko, a member of the PDP, filed the suit in March 2012, seeking to stop President Jonathan from contesting the 2015 presidential election. Justice Mudashiru Oniyangi held that President Jonathan had not yet served two terms as a substantive president. The first defendant (Jonathan) neither contested the office of the president before 2011 nor got nomination of his party to contest same election before 2011.
According to Justice Oniyangi, “Jonathan, to my knowledge, in 2007 contested the general election as a vice president and nothing more. “Section 135 (2) of the 1999 Constitution spells out the tenure of the president to be four years single term, while section 137 (1b) prescribes that the president can only be administered with Oath of Office and oath of allegiance twice…..” Justice Oniyangi went further, “In the circumstance of the forgoing, Jonathan is just serving his first tenure, and therefore free to seek nomination of his party or any other political party he so wishes to fulfil his presidential ambition”.
However, Jonathan could be barred from seeking re-election beyond 2015 if he failed to obtain nomination of a political party. Justice Oniyangi described the suit brought against President Jonathan by Chief Cyriacus as an exercise in futility since Jonathan has not declared his intention to contest the 2015 president election.