According to the constitution, former President Goodluck Jonathan cannot seek re-election to the office of President, says Femi Falana, a human rights activist and Senior Advocate of Nigeria.
On June 4, 2018, President Muhammadu Buhari signed a constitutional amendment prohibiting a Vice President who serves out the remainder of a President’s term from running for President a second time.
The law also prohibits a deputy governor who serves out the remainder of a governor’s tenure from seeking re-election to the governorship.
A President’s tenure can be cut short due to death, resignation, or death, allowing the Vice President to finish the departed President’s term.
After then-President Umaru Yar’Adua died on May 5, 2010, Jonathan, as Vice President at the time, took a fresh oath of office to finish Yar’Adua’s tenure as President.
On May 29, 2011, he was sworn in for a second term after winning the presidential election that year.
Jonathan is harmed by the constitution revision, Falana stated in a statement on Wednesday night.
“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.”
Jonathan’s posters had last week flooded the national secretariat of the APC.
Some youth groups also stormed his office in the Maitama area of Abuja, calling on him to join the presidential race.
The protesters lamented that since he left office, hunger, insecurity, and unemployment, among others had become the order of the day.
The supporters said that both men and women have turned to beggars because of the unfavourable policies of the present administration.
In his response, the former President said he could not say if he would declare or not but advised “his supporters to watch out”.