Rights activist and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Femi Falana, has declared that President Goodluck Jonathan is not qualified to contest the presidency according to the constitution.
Jonathan has been rumoured to be interested in replacing President Muhammadu Buhari at the 2023 polls.
Buhari had on June 4, 2018, signed a constitutional amendment that stops a Vice President who completes the term of a President from contesting for the office of the President more than one more time.
Meanwhile, Jonathan who was ousted in 2015 after completing a term in 2011 following his win at the poll. Prior to then, he took the oath of office to complete President Umaru Yar’Adua’s term as President following the death of the late president on May 5, 2010.
Falana in a statement on Wednesday night said Jonathan is affected by the constitution amendment.
“It has been confirmed that former President Goodluck Jonathan has decided to join the All Progressives Congress (APC) with a view to contesting the 2023 presidential election.
“However, the former President is disqualified from contesting the said election by virtue of 137 (3) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as amended which provides as follows: A person who was sworn in to complete the term for which another person was elected as President shall not be elected to such office for more than a single term.”
Indeed, the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (Fourth Alteration, No 16) Act, 2017 says: “The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (in this Act referred to as “the Principal Act”) is altered as set out in this Act. Section 137 of the Principal Act is altered, by inserting, after subsection (2), a new subsection “(3)”.
“(3)” A person who was sworn in as President to complete the term for which another person was elected as President shall not be elected to such office for more than a single term.”