31st May, 2012
An Abuja High Court has fixed June 21 for hearing in the suit praying to stop President Goodluck Jonathan from seeking re-election in 2015.
The suit, filed by a member of the PDP in Zuba Ward of Gwagwalada Area Council, Abuja, Mr. Cyriacus Njoku, also joined the National Chairman of PDP, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur and INEC as parties.
Njoku is asking the court to stop Jonathan on the ground that “he is already in his second term in office, having taken oath of office as president twice.”
The plaintiff also wants the court to tell him whether Section 135 (2) of the Constitution, which specifies a period of four years in office for the President is only applicable to a person elected on the basis of an actual election.
He also wants the court to determine if the section should include when a person assumed the position of President by operation of the law as in the case of Jonathan
He wants the court to hold that the section applies to Jonathan, who first took oath of office as substantive President on May 6, 2010 and took a second oath as President on May 29, 2011.
On April 18, counsel to Njoku, Mr. Osuagwu Ugochukwu, had told the court that his client was willing to explore avenues of settlement out of court.
Ugochukwu told the court that the PDP chapter in Zuba Ward, where the plaintiff is a registered member, proposed the out of court settlement.
Justice Mudashiru Oniyangi had then fixed May 30 to receive the report of the proposed out of court settlement.
But at the resumed hearing, Ugochukwu told the court that the out of court settlement had failed.
“My Lord, the settlement out of court did not work out. My client wants to proceed with this matter,” he said.
Counsel to Jonathan, Chief Ade Okeaya-Inneh (SAN), told the court that in view of the circumstance, “I want to apply for conditional appearance.”
Okeaya-Inneh urged the court to grant him leave to file a memorandum of appearance and a preliminary objection to the suit.
Oniyangi granted the prayers of Okeaya-Inneh and ordered that he should be duly served as other parties in the suit with all court processes.
The judge then adjourned the matter to June 21, for hearing of the counter motion/preliminary objections by counsel to Jonathan, PDP and the INEC.