The Federal High Court sitting in Yenagoa, has ruled that former President Goodluck Jonathan is eligible to contest the 2023 presidential election.
The presiding judge, Justice Isa Hamma Dashen, gave the judgement on Friday said the right of Jonathan to seek another term in office cannot be restricted by any retroactive legislation.
The ruling, followed an origination summons filed by Andy Solomon and Idibiye Abraham.
The plaintiffs had sought an order of the court stating that Jonathan is not affected by the fourth alteration to the constitution barring Vice-Presidents who succeed their principals from serving more than one full term.
In the suit marked FHC/YNG/CS/86/2022, the All Progressives Congress, Jonathan and the Independent National Electoral Commission were listed as defendants.
Jonathan, who was elected as Vice-President alongside the late President Umaru Yar’Adua in 2007, was inaugurated as President in 2010 following the death of Yar’Adua. In 2011, he ran for election and was again inaugurated.
In 2015, while running for another term, the courts ruled that Jonathan was eligible to contest as his first inauguration was done to complete Yar’Adua’s tenure.
However, in 2018, President Muhammadu Buhari, signed the fourth alteration of the 1999 Constitution, which bars Vice-Presidents who succeed their principals from serving more than one full term.
Consequently, some have argued that the new provision ought not to apply to Jonathan as the law ought not to take a retroactive effect unless it was expressly stated.