Court Throws Out Suit Challenging Jonathan’s Eligibility to Contest 2015 Presidential Election
The Federal High Court sitting in Kaduna State on Monday, March 17, 2014 threw out the suit FHC/KD/CS/87/2013 filed by Alhaji Shuaibu Lilli and comrade Richard Tersoo Mnenga against Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The Plaintiffs by their originating processes challenged the eligibility of Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan to contest the 2015 general election and sought for the order of the court declaring that he had completed his tenure of two terms as president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and thus not entitled to a further tenure of office as president exceeding eight years. The Plaintiffs also sought an order of injunction restraining Dr Jonathan from presenting himself as PDP’s candidate in 2015 presidential election, an order of injunction restraining PDP from presenting Dr Jonathan as its presidential candidate, and an order of injunction restraining INEC from accepting any nomination of Dr Jonathan as its presidential candidate in 2015 presidential election.
In response to the Plaintiffs processes, Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan responded through his Lawyer, Dr Fabian Ajogwu, SAN of Kenna Partners, and filed a Notice of Preliminary Objection and a defence essentially stating that the Plaintiffs have no locus standi to institute or commence the suit, that Dr Jonathan enjoys immunity from civil and criminal proceedings in suits brought against him in his personal capacity, that the suit was an abuse of court process, speculative, hypothetical, indeterminable and premature, that the Plaintiffs’ originating processes were incompetent for not having the mandatory endorsement as provided under section 97 of the Sheriffs and Civil Processes Act and there was no cause of action against Dr Jonathan.
The Court in a well considered judgment, headed by Honourable Justice Evelyn Anyandike agreed with the arguments of the learned counsel to Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, Dr Fabian Ajogwu, SAN and struck out the matter on the ground that the 1st Defendant cannot be sued in his personal capacity in view of section 308 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, that the originating processes of the Plaintiff was defective and was not in compliance with section 97 of the Sheriffs and Civil Processes Act, that the issues as formulated by the Plaintiffs were merely speculative and hypothetical, and no cause of action had arisen against the 1st Defendant and that the Plaintiffs lacked the requisite locus standi to bring the action against the Defendants.
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