Femi Falana, SAN, has declared that former President Goodluck Jonathan cannot contest for the 2023 Presidency, by the provisions of 137 (3) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended, Page 36 learnt.
He also confirmed that Jonathan will be defecting to the All Progressives Congress, APC, from the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, where he will be running for the Presidency, come 2023.
His exact words: “It has been confirmed that former President Goodluck Jonathan has decided to join the All Progressives Congress, APC, to contest the 2023 Presidential election.
“However, the former President is disqualified from contesting the said election, by 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.”
A close check by Page 36’s Correspondent to see the exact wordings of the said Section 137 (3) of the 1999 Constitution, showed that the Subsection does not exist, as only (1) and (2) were found for Section 137, in the copies of the 1999 Constitution, as amended, seen.
Section 137 of the Constitution reads in full:
(1) A person shall not be qualified for election to the office of President if –
(a) subject to the provisions of section 28 of this Constitution, he has voluntarily acquired the citizenship of a country other than Nigeria or, except in such cases as may be prescribed by the National Assembly, he has made a declaration of allegiance to such other country; or
(b) he has been elected to such office at any two previous elections; or
(c) under the law in any part of Nigeria, he is adjudged to be a lunatic or otherwise declared to be of unsound mind;
(d) he is under a sentence of death imposed by any competent court of law or tribunal in Nigeria or a sentence of imprisonment or fine for any offence involving dishonesty or fraud (by whatever name called) or for any other offence, imposed on him by any court or tribunal or substituted by a competent authority for any other sentence imposed on him by such a court or tribunal; or
(e) within a period of less than ten years before the date of the election to the office of President he has been convicted and sentenced for an offence involving dishonesty or he has been found guilty of the contravention of the Code of Conduct; or
(f) he is an undischarged bankrupt, having been adjudged or otherwise declared bankrupt under any law in force in Nigeria or any other country; or
(g) being a person employed in the civil or public service of the Federation or of any State, he has not resigned, withdrawn or retired from the employment at least thirty days before the date of the election; or
(h) he is a member of any secret society; or
(i) he has been indicted for embezzlement or fraud by a Judicial Commission of Inquiry or an Administrative Panel of Inquiry or a Tribunal set up under the Tribunals of Inquiry Act, a Tribunals of Inquiry Law or any other law by the Federal or State Government which indictment has been accepted by the Federal or State Government, respectively; or
(j) he has presented a forged certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission.
(2) Where in respect of any person who has been –
(a) adjudged to be a lunatic;
(b) declared to be of unsound mind;
(c) sentenced to death or imprisonment; or
(d) adjudged or declared bankrupt
(e) any appeal against the decision is pending in any court of law in accordance with any law in force in Nigeria, subsection (1) of this section shall not apply during a period beginning from the date when such appeal is lodged and ending on the date when the appeal is finally determined or, as the case may be, the appeal lapses or is abandoned, whichever is earlier.
More news later…