Nigerian human rights activist and Chief Advocate, Femi Falana, says former President Goodluck Jonathan will not be able to run for re-election, according to the constitution.
President Muhammadu Buhari on June 4, 2018, signed a constitutional amendment barring the outgoing Deputy President from running for President on more than one occasion.
The law also barred a retired vice-president from running for a second term.
The term of the President may be shortened on the grounds of death, resignation, or death to pave the way for the Deputy President to complete the term of the late President.
Following the death of then-President Umaru Yar’Adua on May 5, 2010, Jonathan, the then Vice President, took a new oath of office to end Yar’Adua’s term as President.
He was sworn in once again on May 29, 2011, after winning that year’s presidential election.
Falana said in a statement Wednesday night that Jonathan was concerned about the constitutional 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.”