I can contest in 2015, Jonathan tells court


From GODWIN TSA, Abuja

Few days after President Goodluck Jonathan said he was undecided on his candidature for the 2015 presidential race, the president yesterday told a Federal High Court that contrary to the provisions of the 1999 Constitution, an incumbent president’s tenure of office can extend beyond four or eight years.

Jonathan was responding to suit filed by a Port Harcourt-based legal practitioner and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) card-carrying member, Henry Amadi, that he (Jonathan) was no longer qualified to contest in 2015.

The plaintiff argued that allowing Jonathan to contest in 2015 would amount to extending his tenure beyond the maximum period of two terms of four years envisaged by the 1999 Constitution.

A similar suit was filed by another chieftain of the PDP, Mr. Cyriacus Njoku, who asked an Abuja High Court to stop President Jonathan from contesting the presidential election in 2015 on the grounds that he was already in his second term in office.

Judgment was yet to be entered in the said suit by the presiding Judge, Justice Mudashiru Oniyangi, long after he had earlier fixed November 13, 2012 date before adjourning the case sine dine (indefinitely) following his trip abroad.

In the present suit, the plaintiff joined Jonathan and the Independent National electoral Commission (INEC) as co-defendants.

He specifically asked the court to stop Jonathan from putting himself forward or participating as candidate for election to the office of the president at the end of his current term of office in 2012. Amadi also asked the court to direct INEC not to accept Jonathan’s nomination as candidate of the PDP in 2015, saying by so doing, Jonathan would hoist illegality in the polity since the oath of allegiance and office he would take if he won would violate the two oaths of allegiance and office stipulated by the 1999 Constitution.

But in the counter-affidavit filed on his behalf by Mr. Ade Okeaya-Inneh (SAN), Jonathan said court should decline jurisdiction to entertain the case on the grounds that the plaintiff was an ordinary individual who was not qualified to request court to stop him from contesting 2015 presidential election. President Jonathan contended that the plaintiff failed to disclose reasonable cause of action and that his claim before the court was hypothetical and academic. Jonathan averred that he took the first oath of office on May 6, 2010 following the death of former president Umaru Musa Yar’adua.

“The question that arises for determination is whether, having regard to the facts of this case, he is in his first or second term. In other words, given that the constitution prescribes a maximum of two-term of four years each totalling a maximum of eight years as president, is he eligible to run for re-election in 2015? “If yes, that would mean that, if he wins, he would be in office for a period of more than eight years.

On the other hand, if the answer is no, that would mean that he, for no fault of his, would be constrained to serve for a period of less than eight years. “Given that between May 6, 2010 and May 28, 2011 he held office for the unexpired term of office of Yar’adua following the death of the later. Does the constitution contemplate that the period of about one year and three weeks would constitute his first term, a period of less than half of the constitutionally prescribed period of four years.’’

Okeaya-Inneh went further to say that, “in resolving this issue, the court is invited to make a determination whether the period of May 6, 2010 to May 28, 2011 wherein Jonathan occupied the office of the president can, in law, be regarded as one term of office and relevance of the oath of office Jonathan took on May 6, 2010 in computing the tenure of office of Jonathan in line with Sections 135 (1) and (2), 137 (1)(b), 140 (1) and (2) and 146(1) of the 1999 Constitution.’

He argued that it was better with the political situation of Nigeria for Jonathan to spend nine years in office than to spend less than eight years. “This approach is also consistent with the time honoured canon of interpretation to the effect that if confronted with two interpretations, one of which would abridge a person’s right and another which would maintain or enhance a person’s rights, the former constitution yields to the later.’’

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  1. I’m not surprise because that how his predesesor was force out of government like IBB,OBJ and ABACHA with powerful hand. my advice to him is to step aside maybe he can be consider in the next generation. GOD will deliver Nigerian from the hand of do or die President.


  3. Yes following what the consitution says. The president is only but 5years and three weeks in office by 2015 but to the look of things this present goverment Has subject the nigeran citizen to serious turture since inception. More one year added to it is even like a hundred years. Is it the roads ,air lines, banking,agricalture,securty,infrastructure development,health sector. ,Education, no person in this present regeim is working. We are tired radio &televission work. Every thing is I will I will. We’ll see what election is going to be , if it is free and fair or gerbage in gerbage out. This time nigeria will see (INEC) and its fairness. Schools in nigeria are nolonger for the poor masses. No better school that will not cost you (N50000) a term while people in the villages have their yearly terget at (N50000)but still 4 or 6 children in school how do they attend school. This government is wicked to us .

  4. Become a member of Netcontacts today, and be paid N1500 for each person u invite to register as well, Netcontacts has change the lives of so many Nigerians, i urge u to embrace it and make alots of benefits, click here and register to get started http://xrl.us/bnxwkg Goodluck

  5. I think personally that this President deserves another term in office for continuity’s sake.To me this man GEJ has tried his best for us,he is only human,nobody can do much under this situation of insecurity,he was God sent for his coolness unlike other past Presidents which would have resulted into total chaos.Only God can satify Nigerians.He did not cause these problems for Nigerians ,the problems were already there and he is not a Magician.For Heaven’s sake give this man the chance to perform.Don’t wait until when he is gone before you start to praise him !!.The Presidency job looks easy for a lame man but is not easy,go and ask Obama he will tell you that the object in the rear view mirror is a lot closer than it looks,the job is a lot involved than we the lame men think.It is very difficult to satisfy Nigeria of 505 languages with many dialets,only a president like Jonathan can rule Nigeria during this time of tribulations.Long live Nigeria

    • My Brother all this God sent never do anything in Nigeria pls we are now looking to see a Devil sent to come and rule Nigeria so that we can compare the both and see who is ok

      • please Mr President dont mind all this people that is talking here ok, just pay in big money into this my account no i will vote for YOU and aswell buy voters for YOU, well the no is 080/247power that is all then carry GO

    • Say you, Say me on

      @Olu Ade, another chance to do what? What planet have you been living on. You people keep making excuses for the president, about the many problems in Nigeria. Was a gun put to his head to force him into contesting? Somebody that was dep. gov, gov, vp, should have known what he was getting himself into. But no, he wanted to be the first president from the Niger Delta – goaded on by his Niger Delta tribesmen, political jobbers and those of you who voted ‘Jonathan and not pdp’. Did he not know the enormity of the task ahead? Those same people, who were regaling us with how goodluck will come to Nigeria with a Jonathan presidency, are now saying his is the worst govt. As if that is coming as a surprise to those who saw the writing on the wall. Come 2015 God willing, we shall decide with our votes.

  6. The issue now is that,what have you done with the years spent as president?mr Gej what have you to show to the people of nigeria that you are capable of continuity.Please step down and dont be greedy.

  7. To be Frank. I am an Igbo man. I have not gone to the pool for the first time in life with the exception of Jonathan era in which he contested for the seat of Presidency. I was very eager to vote for him ensuring dat I was not disenfranchised. But to be candid, Jonathans Administration is the worst in the history of Nigeria. Starting from the issue of petroleum subsidy, poor road networks all over the south-easthern Nigeria, no money in circulation, kidnapping, religious and ethnic crises, late payment of workers salary etc. If he succeeds in contesting again, I will never live my house to any pooling unit. He should start fixing things in order and stop the ” I will syndrome”. Long Live Biafran Nation

    • you are on your own. with the insecurity confronting our President, and with what he has done so far, He deserves another 10yrs to perfect his strategies.

  8. To be candid, Jonathan was God’s sent president , is just dat he lost his service to God and his vision afta incension and as a result, evrytin has bin put stagnant. Sufferings are much now compared to d past presidents. School fees are much, transportation, economy worst. My dear l dnt knw wat else to mention cos d ar numerous. My advice to him is, 2015 is stil far, atleast let him start putting tinz in order so as enable we Nigerians vote for him again. If not he shuld do a rethink. Thanx.


  10. Maxnovo of UYO on

    He must complete his 8yrs of maximum terms…….perish u all ! Do you think good governance is kiddies things ? GEJ tried for us but we are not supportive of his effort. Look even if we give Nigeria to you and your parents to run,you people will achieve nothing if,we are not supportive! It is a few greedy politicians that did this not GEJ,He is the only president with sound mind Nigerians ever had.you critics has very minute understanding of leadership.pls Let begin a 2nd term campaign for this God sent leader of our time.

    • Isaiah 5: 20 Woe to them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! 21 Woe to them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!

  11. you guys that is condeming GEJ lack wisdom , if your wise i think u will surpose to know that jonathan is not the problem we are facing now, and those that bring this problem is still the same people that are making sure that he will fail , nobody in nigerian can do well if there are no maximium surports, why is it that when other ppl was ruling there are maximium surport and now jonathyan is ruling many ppl that is working with him want him to fail why?, nigerians is a failed nation and for any one to correct it must be a collective effort,

  12. maxnovo you are very correct, leave those baboons they think governance is for dumb heads like them.maybe gej has block their dubious means of livelihood.im optimistic the dividend will start coming soon.God bless GEJ.

  13. Mr GEJ i tink ur regime is d worst in d history of nigerian democracy, nothing is workin, nigerian ppl had nvr sufferd dis way. Come 2015 kindly step aside 4 othrs to try. D easterners ar sufferin most in dis regim. Take out time nd ply ENUGU-PH road u will c y u cn’t continue. U ar a failure 2 b candid, i taught u wr d long awaited mece-ayah bt u bcame d worst democratic prisedent nigeria ever produced.

  14. @ olu ade…u have spoken wel my brother.only a blind man will not notice wen war looms in his country.if obasanjo(a general) was stil in power,do u think there wil stil be boko haram? he wil release all d army from the barraks,and u know wat dt means.WAR.thats wat dey want GEJ to do so dat at the end they wil still charge for war crimes.they want him out dats y they are using evry sector of the economy to frustrate his Government. Una no go suceed.

  15. james odoememe on

    Some of us Nigerians have problems. Those of us who blame GEJ for the problems of this country fail to ask ourselves how was the situation before he came on board. I think, he has tried!

  16. Emeka Ikechukwu on

    Those of you who are reasoning through your anus should think twise,that Goodluck was sent by God just like some of us agreed then that he was actually sent by God to salvage this country,wether or not we like it Goodluck is doing his best & nothing but the best anybody can do under that threat by the likes of Adamu Ciroma,Atiku Abubakar & many other political leaders in the north saying that, if he wins that they will make the country ungovernable for him which they did by introducing what has consumed all of them called Boko Harm,in as much as the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria garantees him the right to contest in 2015 not even anybody`s threat will stop him.And anybody wishing him death is invariablly wishing his/her father death,were is that saint that you think will take Nigeria to high-heaven coming from is the person not coming from Nigeria?is he/she coming from America? enough of this we should stop this sentiment and to those two gentlemen Henry Amadi & Cyriacus Njoku they will continua to use you poeple & nothing will come out of it i bet you people that nothing good will come out of your litigations.Nigerians,Mr President had said we should score him by 2014 but if the likes of Cyriacus Njoku & Henry Amadi like they can stiay at the corner to spoil the president`s good work

  17. Exercise your constitutional right Mr.President. You have every right to run comes 2015 whosoever does not like it can join the opposition period.

  18. Thank you all for your comments. I personally think that for a proper judgement, we need to allow the president discharge all he has for this country. I don’t that the president is a fool as some of you say, to the best of my knowledge the president had done well so far. Let us blame our past presidents who held this GOD blessed country hostage in corruption, fraud,oil cabal,insecurity etc. A man who want us to be liberated from poverty. Give him that 8 yrs and see his performance before judging him. President Goodluck is really a good luck to us all in this country. Just allow him to accomplish his tenure first.

  19. No body should blame Gej but blame those that swear they will make his goverment ungorvanable, they bring boko haram,they have kill and maimed many,they fighting to make sure his govement fail, causing suffering to people, they are to Gej as satan is to God, they are enemy of nigeria, they want Gej to fail so they can rule by killing and suffering the masses. So let us be wise to detect them, evil will not bring any good.


  21. Mr. Ade Okeya-Inneh has obviously raised a fundamental issue bodering on the Mr. President’s right. However, my strong opinion is that if Mr President wants to have his maximum term as stipulated by the constitution, he shouldn’t have accepted to complete the tenure of late Yar’ Adua. Come to think of it. There is no seperate tenure for vice presidency. The president winning an election is automatically an election won by his vice. Therefore we are talking about thesame tenure. From this analysis, the president is in his second tenure, and there should be no elongation. Mr. President sir, with due respect, DON’T BE GREEDY, WE HAVE HAD ENOUGH, THANK YOU.

  22. James, some of you are so myopic that you can not even make s simple reasoning,Ok, Fine, it was not Uhuru before GEJ came in but the question people are asking is , what polices and decisions has he put in place to turn things arround? the answer is NOTHING, He may be good as a person naturally but please he does not know this business at all and he does not have the personal `WILL` that is required of someone in his position, Do you know that Jonathan`s goverment is more corrupt than his predecesors? There is no indeces that will be used to allow Jonatahan to contest in 2015, Please let us remove sentiment in this issue. The Guy is just a tool in the hands of those who has sold Nigerian out Economically and he is enjoying the booties with them.
    Nigerian, needs a change, Let us try an acute business man as a president, that is what Nigerian needs now a buisness man with international network, We lost this during Abiola, then a vice president who is a technocrat , Oga Jonathan should just leave office at the end of this tenure and then he may be th best statemen Nigerian ever to come from Nigeria, Permit me to say that in the eyes of the comitee of Nations, Nigeria has no good and respected stateman, may be Jonathan will take this oppturnity be saying thank you to Nigerian by 2015, he may get a Job from the UN just like most of African pas leaders from other countries of Africa are gething after leading their people well. We can not continue to blame the PDP while they can be shown the way out from power with our voices votes.

  23. James, some of you are so myopic that you can not even make s simple reasoning,Ok, Fine, it was not Uhuru before GEJ came in but the question people are asking is , what polices and decisions has he put in place to turn things arround? the answer is NOTHING, He may be good as a person naturally but please he does not know this business at all and he does not have the personal `WILL` that is required of someone in his position, Do you know that Jonathan`s goverment is more corrupt than his predecesors? There is no indeces that will be used to allow Jonatahan to contest in 2015, Please let us remove sentiment in this issue. The Guy is just a tool in the hands of those who has sold Nigerian out Economically and he is enjoying the booties with them.
    Nigerian, needs a change, Let us try an acute business man as a president, that is what Nigerian needs now a buisness man with international network, We lost this during Abiola, then a vice president who is a technocrat , Oga Jonathan should just leave office at the end of this tenure and then he may be th best statemen Nigerian ever to come from Nigeria, Permit me to say that in the eyes of the comitee of Nations, Nigeria has no good and respected stateman, may be Jonathan will take this opporturnity be saying thank you to Nigerian by 2015, he may get a Job from the UN just like most of African pas leaders from other countries of Africa are gething after leading their people well. We can not continue to blame the PDP while they can be shown the way out from power with our voices votes.

  24. Jonathan has not done anything progressive in South east rather than arresting molesting harmless BZM members. Onicha bridge head remains untouchable, South East roads remain death raps, no functional international airport, no sea port, Jonathan is doing nothing to protect the lives of Ndigbo over the north.

    Tell me why Igbos will vote for him again? Is time all man vote for their own candidate, Ijaw should vote for Jonathan, Igbos vote for Igbo candidate, North the same thing, South west liver cutters, they will rather join the wining team.

  25. I tink PDP should field Mr. President as their Presidential candidate in 2015. It will be the beginning of a new era in the History of Nigeria bcos I think he will not win in this present state that Nigeria is.
    It isnt compulsory for all presidents to serve a second tenure.

    I agree with all those saying Mr. President isnt the problem we are having in this country. But I also want them to know that he has a majority of blame. We voted him in to make the changes required but he has been receiving salaries and giving us numerous reasons why things cannot work.

    Anyway, i’m not disappointed cos I didnt vote for him in 2011 since I knew he didnt have anything to offer. GOD BLESS NAIJA

  26. As far as am concerned that lawyer is an illitrate lawyer he doesn’t know his left and right who in Nigeria that will claim that he or she is not aware that GEJ completed yaradua’s regime. Mr lawyer go and tell your sponsors that they factless and baseless they should try and come up with somthing reasonable

  27. This is a court case about whether GEJ is qualified to contest in 2015?

    The answer is obvious that he is qualified to contest!

  28. lt’s well. i dont ever believe in human government which i konw that they is nothing batter will come out.
    JEHOVAH GOD will take control an him would chose whoever that he want’sbeside GOD is not the rule of the world but he will always deliever is peoples.

  29. Please my brothers and sisters, it is time we begin to import a positive side of life of the Americans in Nigeria, America , Americans believe in. A Nigeria Nigerians believe in , Nigeria we can support defend ,protect, A president we can criticize constructively, a president we can support to deliver his promises to our people and the nation in general, a president who is determined to remove the Margot from the wood , not polishing the wood while the Margot is still right inside.
    A president who understands that he is not the inventor of Nigerian problem yet ready to eradicate the whole problem , A president who knows he has power to wipe out a whole community and nothing will happen but he refused to do that and choose diplomatic means to avoid shading blood of innocent souls, A president that has the fear of God while administering the affairs of the nation A president who disassociates himself from tribalism, A president I know will give light to the whole nation, security , water and housing to Nigerian in few yrs to come. some one fail into a pity and was there for a long time with all the offensive odor without complain, later God sent a help and a Messiah to him as soon as he sees the helper he lamented please be fast the offensive odor is to much for me to bear, forgetting that he has been living with that offensive odor for a long time. my people be patient GEJ is the answer he will do it all by Gods grace

  30. Sometimes I get disturbed at people’s amarture reasonings and sentiments. That Jonathan completed Umaru Musa’s regime does not mean that he has completed his first regime. Jonathan should have been cngratulated for saving Nigeria from doom in that regime instead. He still deserve the right to contest presidency come 2015.

  31. Honestly I am of the believe that the greates gift Jonathan will give to the nation come 2015 is to conduct a free & fair election. He should not context because that will cause more confusion and killings of Nigerians. If Jona does this, he will be seen like Nelson Mandala and he would have solved 65% of Nigerian problem.

    If he allows himself to be dragged into sentimental political unholy waters, he will regret it because it will be a grave mistake and miscaclution of political game. I understand so many people of love for Jona thinks is all about stoping him. No. Is all about stoping a failed process which Jona represents. They only change he can bring is to use his political power to conduct a good election which he will not be a contestant. Any other SS man can but not him. Let Nigerians experience it again and yu will see that Nigerian open door will be perfected. SS should not see it as an insult but the biggest gift of a change for Nigeria.

  32. Actually Dr Gej is a morally good man but he is incapable of ruling Nigeria.To my own opinion i stand to be corrected Jonathan has not done well but it is left for Nigerians to decide for his 2nd tenure if truly that votes do count.He still has constitutional right to contest.

  33. Premature Death Party (PDP) should leave other living parties chance to rule this country for Gods sake. I hate you people including you mr president

  34. Almost all the comments made above are tilted to the fact that they dont want GEJ to contest the 2015 presidential contest…But the commentators are not suggesting who they think would clean up this mess we are in .Can i call some for scrutiny…………. BUHARI ,EL RUFAI ,FASHOLA ., OKOROCHA ,AKPABIO and emmmmh.

  35. If Jonathan is a man of his word, he will not contest 2015 election as promised during his campaign depsite the degree of preasure from his sycophants. Unless he was just saying it to gather political momentum from Nigerians.

    Its a pity that no Nigerian politician can be exempted from OBJ’s do or die style of politics.

    But, God pass you Jonathan, learn from the past leaders bcos .

    is still interested in nigeria a special of dealing with people like you. Remember Abac…

  36. my fellow nigs i tink Jonathan shud be ashemd of him self ,havin sav nig 4 yrs and cn nt achiv somtin reasnabl. He is buzy talkin abt 2nd tenur while nig is in a state of mess as a result of his incapcity as a president of nig.He shud go and rest let odas who are more comptent dan him 2 rule our country.If court cn nt stop Him i will personaly file him 2 anoda court of competent juridiction 2 stp him 4rm contesting as president of nig. on d grond dat he is nt competent 2 rule our country.

  37. Onyebuchi Ogbuzuru on

    GEJ is a very visionary president Nigeria have ever produced, working tirelessly to solve the hips of problems created by all the past Zumbi millitary Dictators. Fellow Patriots please let us give this God’s sent another chance to create a future for us and generation to come.
    Do we ever site and reflect on his programmes with immediate actions e.g;
    1. YouWin! (youth Enterprise With Innovation in Nigeria) the best programme that have ever been implimented in this country creating about Eighty Thousand (80,000) new jobs for unemployed nigerians.
    2. The GES programme.
    3. SURE P
    Just to mention but a few of his action programme benefited directly by merited nigerians even those in the hinterland.
    May God give us more GEJ. Amen!

  38. So five good year is not enough for Jona to do something. We know there language CONTINUITY, but this time it will not work. Only Ijaw who is less than 2 million cannot make Jona president. He knows this very well and he has failed Nigerians. I regretted the day I voted for Jonathan. He is a disappointment.

  39. Chief freeborn ayoma on

    Yes our president has the right to contest the 2015 presidential election because this is his first tenure he only completed yaradua tenure but we are tired of pdp

  40. Leader is nt d prblm in dis country bt is thos diabolical politician who ar ful of numb and want power by al means,after losing they wil b an obstacle 2 winer and 4 dis fact 9ja situation wil b deteriorating more and more.Imagine hw feasible it is 4 peace 2 reign in country where there is born 2 rule, wen d ruler is nt 4rm born 2 rule there wil b n peace,dat is it. Gej shud contest.God bles Biafran nation.

  41. On my own a day will come when these people will say had I know, GEJ government is exposing so much in this Country and many of us here are not seeing it and will never see it. I dont know what they want him to do, but one thing you should know is that GEJ will not bring Nigeria money and be sharing it house by house. Governance is all about improvement, transparency and total democracy which we are seeing today. Pls he deserve a second chance. I am not from his state but I believe in him, lets support him. Long life Nigeria.

  42. They have already decided who will be next president come 2015. The election is just a show to eat our money, and deceive the common man

  43. Let us not us avoid sentiment instead of the fact,nothing can stop Jonathan from contesting in 2015 according to constitution no matter where our propaganda can take us to.Jonathan may God be with you.

  44. Bountain J. Epiri on

    Rome was not built in a day. But some Nigerians want all the years of our accumulated problems since 1960, to be resolved in just one year by President Goodluck Jonathan. I have always adored the way he is fighting corruption in Nigeria. You cannot fight corruption by catching and jailing the culprit, but by fighting the germs that breed corruption. If you destroy a plantation of Marijuana, for instance, you have successfully stopped the dealers and the consumers.

  45. U guyz re making noise noting prevents jonathan 2015,if u dnt like him dnt vote 4 him. He must rule 2015 weda u vote 4 him or nt.why shud his own b different.d past presidents wat hav they done 4 Nigerian .we wil prove 2 those who earlier said dat they would make jonathan’s administration ungovernable, dat they themselves wil nt succed,rubish pple



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