Nigeria is a country of one major news item per day. At times, one scandal per day. The hot issue in the polity currently generating national ruckus, hoopla and bedlam is the presumed intention of Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan to run for the 2023 presidency.
It does not matter that he has never himself confirmed to anyone, the swirling rumour about his purported planned defection from his opposition PDP party under which he was once elected President, to the ruling APC party.
The discussants are prepared, as in now commonplace in Nigeria, to predict and to shave his hair in his absence.
I have carefully read the many arguments of those (I call them antagonists) who believe that Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan is disqualified from contesting the 2023 presidential election. According to them, he had already done two terms of 4 years each and will thus be ineligible to contest for a third term. They cite the Fourth Alteration (No 16) Act, which was signed into an Act by President Muhammadu Buhari on the 11th of June, 2018. The section they are relying on is section 137(3) of the said Fourth Alteration to the 1999 Constitution, which provides that “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”.
THE ANTAGONISTS ARE DEAD WRONG IN THEIR LEGAL POSTULATIONS
The truth of the matter is that the antagonists of Jonathan running in 2022, in their strange line of argument, are mainly relying on the above section 137(3).
They have probably not adverted their minds to the provisions of sections 141 of the Electoral Act, 2010, as amended; and section 285(13) of the same Fourth Alteration to the 1999 Constitution, as amended, the very Alteration they are relying on.
More revealing is that these antagonists are probably not aware of an extant and subsisting Court of Appeal decision where Jonathan was frontally confronted and challenged before the 2015 presidential election, with the same ground of being ineligible to contest the said 2015 election, having allegedly been elected for two previous terms of office.