A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, Olisa Agbakoba, on Wednesday insisted that former President Goodluck Jonathan is eligible to run for the Presidency again in 2023.
Agbakoba backed his claims with some sections of the Nigerian constitution that allow a former President to run for the office again.
In a statement he signed and forwarded to the media, Agbakoba said: “The eligibility of Former President Goodluck Jonathan to run for the office of President has become a vexed issue. In reviewing whether he is eligible to run, I will consider strictly the legal issues. The moral and ethical questions are not for me to consider.
“The question of Jonathan’s eligibility is determined by section 137 (3) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended). The purpose of Section 137(3) of the Constitution is to resolve the dilemma of a Vice President who completes the tenure of a President who dies in office.
“Such a Vice President if he decides to run for the Office of President will be eligible for one term of 4 years only. Even though ordinarily he will be entitled to two terms of 8 years. The logic behind it is that if the Vice President fills the President’s void and runs for two terms, he is most likely to exceed the constitutionally prescribed maximum tenure of 8 years.
“But the question is whether Section 137 (3) of the Constitution applies to Former President Goodluck Jonathan. I don’t think it applies to him because at the time Former President Goodluck Jonathan was President, Section 137 (3) of the Constitution was not in existence and there is a rule that you cannot backdate laws. Former President Goodluck Jonathan is eligible to run for the office of President.”
There has been a clamour for Jonathan to join the 2023 Presidential race.
To this end, his campaign posters were sighted in Abuja and some other states.
Reacting to the call, Jonathan said he can’t tell if he will run for the Presidency in 2023.
Amid the clamour, a Northern group had purchased the All Progressives Congress, APC, Presidential nomination forms for Jonathan.
Reacting, Jonathan denied plans to move to APC, stressing that he has no prior knowledge about the purchase of the presidential forms and did not authorize them.
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