President Jonathan Declaration For 2015 Election Under Pdp Is An Affront To The Court – Jurist
The declaration of President Goodluck Jonathan of his intention to contest the presidential election scheduled for 14th February, 2015 today at the Eagle Square Abuja; his collection of nomination form on the 31st October, 2014 of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and endorsement as the consensus presidential candidate of the PDP for the 2015 presidential election are all acts of brazen impunity and lawlessness.
Undeniably these acts are also contemptuous, an affront and a naked and brutal assault on the authority and integrity of the Court.
Recall that the question of the eligibility of President Goodluck Jonathan to contest the presidential election fixed for the 14th February, 2015 is the subject of a pending litigation before the Court of Appeal, Abuja in Appeal No. CA/ABJ/574/2014 instituted by a presidential aspirant under the platform of the PDP, Cyriacus Njoku.
In 2013, Mr. Cyriacus Njoku had instituted an action in the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja seeking the following reliefs thus:
- A Declaration that the tenure of office as President of Good luck Jonathan i.e. 1st Defendant, began on May 6th, 2010 when his First Term began and his Two Terms shall end on May 29, 2015 after taking his second Oath on May 29th, 2011.
- A Declaration that by virtue of Section 136 (1) (b) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria no person (including the 1st Defendant) shall take the Oath of Allegiance and the Oath of Office prescribed to in the Seven Schedule to this Constitution.
- An Order of Injunction restraining the 1st Defendant from further contesting or attempting to vie for the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria after May 29, 2015 when his tenure shall by the Nigerian Constitution aforestated ends.
- An Order of Injunction restraining the 2nd Defendant from further sponsoring or attempting to sponsor the 1st Defendant ass candidate for election to the Office of the President in the 2015 Presidential Election after the expiration of his two terms on May 29, 2015.
- An Order directing the 3rd Defendant from accepting the name of the 1st Defendant where sponsored by his Party again to run for the office of the President in the 2015 Presidential Elections to be supervised and conducted by the 3rd Defendant.
However, on the 13th March, 2013, the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja presided over by Honourable Justice M.N. Oniyangi (as he then was) delivered its judgment dismissing the case but holding that President Good luck Jonathan is free to contest the 2015 presidential election under the platform of the Party.
On the 16th April, 2013, Mr. Njoku filed a Notice of Appeal in the registry of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, seeking the Court of Appeal to set aside the judgment of Honourable Justice Oniyangi and in its stead grants all the reliefs sought by him in his Originating Summons dated the 12th March, 2012.
The case came before the Court of Appeal, Abuja on the 29th October, 2014 and the Court ordered Parties to file their respective Briefs of Argument within 28 days.
It is therefore curious, disheartening and extremely disturbing that despite the fact that the question of the eligibility of President Good luck Jonathan is sub judice; President Jonathan would still go ahead collect the presidential form nomination form of the PDP and to declare today his intention to contest the presidential election fixed for 14th February, 20914 without awaiting the outcome of the appeal filed by Mr. Njoku.
It is also a matter for serious concern that the PDP would in flagrant of disregard of the dictates of the Rule of Law issue a presidential nomination form to President Jonathan and even endorsed him as its consensus presidential candidate.
The principle of the law is that where a matter is the subject of litigation in a Court of Law, none of the parties is expected to do anything to undermine the fair hearing of such a matter or take steps top overreach other party with the aim of foisting on the Court a situation of hopelessness and helplessness or destroying the subject matter.
I therefore strongly condemn the gross and brazen acts of impunity and lawlessness shown by the PDP and President Jonathan.
Undoubtedly the conduct of President Jonathan and the PDP constitutes a brutal assault on the authority and integrity of the Court.
It is also illegal, wrongful and unconstitutional and therefore liable to be set aside.
My client, Mr. Njoku has accordingly instituted me to file a motion before the Court of Appeal to determine the legality of the declaration of President Jonathan today to contest the 2015 presidential election under the platform of the PDP and his purported endorsement as the consensus presidential candidate while his appeal is pending.
(Counsel to Mr. Cyriacus Njoku)
Abuja, 11th November, 2014
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