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2015: Court of Appeal to Hear Suit against Jonathan’s Eligibility Oct. 29

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IMAGE: President Goodluck Jonathan, Nigerian President »


The Court of Appeal sitting is Abuja has regularised the appeal against the eligibility of President Goodluck Jonathan to contest the February 2015 presidential election as the sole candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

The appeal would now be heard on October 29

The eligibility suit in the Court of Appeal earlier slated for October 20, had some technical problems and therefore had to be stood down till further notice.

But on Wednesday, the Justice Abdulkadir Jega-led Court of Appeal fixed October 29 as the date for a tentative hearing of the suit.

In a notice of appeal signed by the Senior Registrar of the Court of Appeal dated October 22, it said: “Take notice that the above mentioned motion has been listed for hearing before the Court of Appeal sitting at the three Arms Zone at the Central District Area Cadastral Zone on October 29 2014.”

Also speaking with journalists, the PDP presidential aspirant from Adamawa State, Dr. Umar Ardo, who took Jonathan to the Court of Appeal said: “With this case in court, now no one can do or say anything regarding the presidential nomination of the PDP until the matter before the court is finally determined.

“It means that President Jonathan can neither declare nor obtain Expression of Interest and nomination forms, nor any parties in the suit do same. PDP cannot also sell forms to any of us. Any act contrary to this will be subjudice. This is the way of the rule of law.

“It is therefore in the best interest of myself, the president, the PDP and the country at large for this matter to be determined as quickly as possible so as to clear the way for everybody. And based on my personal observation on the processes of the case so far in the Appeal Court, I believe it will be determined soon; one way or the other,” he said.

Ardo had urged  the Court of Appeal to quash the resolutions of the National Executive Committee (NEC) and Board of Trustees (BoT) and PDP Governors’ Forum that endorsed President Jonathan as the sole presidential candidate of PDP in the 2015 presidential election.

In an appeal with file number CA/A/574A/M2013 between  Cyriacus Njoku as appellant/respondent and Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, PDP and Indepenent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and respondent,  Ardo as an interested party applicant said: “The Office of President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria which is slated to hold on or before February 2015 and my desire is mainly built on my conviction that the president would not be eligible to contest the said election which would have cleared the way for a free and fair level-playing field contest for the party’s primary.”

He is therefore, seeking leave to be granted appeal in the suit No. FCT/HC/CV/2449/2012 between Cyriacus Njoku vs Goodluck Jonathan in the suit delivered on March 1, 2013.
Ardo, a former governorship aspirant  from Adamawa State who claimed to be a presidential aspirant of the PDP from Adamawa State urged the Court of Appeal to grant him leave to use the particulars of the Njoku eligibility suit against Jonathan to challenge the eligibility of the president to contest the 2015 presidential election as a candidate of PDP.

He further claimed that his fundamental human rights as a Nigerian, a financial member of the PDP had been breached as a result of the endorsement of President Jonathan by the PDP, NEC and other organs of the party.

In the appeal before the Court of Appeal  filed on his behalf on September 23  and signed Dr. Amuda Kannike (SAN) and Doueyi Fiderikumo, Ardo claimed that the decision of the lower court in the Abuja raises “grave points of constitutional law and jurisprudence that is the first of its kind in Nigeria.”

In the affidavit deposed by Ardo, he said: “That I am desirous of contesting the election to the presidential election, but the endorsement of President Jonathan has affected my fundamental rights to contest the said election.”

Meanwhile, despite his adoption as the sole presidential candidate of the PDP, the National Working Committee (NWC) of his party has said President  Jonathan must paid and obtain the party’s presidential nomination form.

The party also warned that there would be no extension for the sales and return of all completed forms.

The last date for the sales and return of all nomination forms is October 30.
Addressing journalists yesterday after its weekly NWC meeting, the National Publicity Secretary of PDP, Olisa Metuh,  also said President Jonathan is yet to declare for the presidential election.

The presidential nomination form of PDP is N20 million, while the presidential Expression of Interest (EoI) is N2 million, bringing the total money to N22 million.

According to Metuh, “We know that the president has not declared and he has not signified his indication that he is going to contest, he has not given answer to the yearnings of Nigerians but at the same time, the NWC will not be against any group that wants to purchase form for him. I think they are dealing with the wrong through the right channel.

“I want to state categorically that the NWC also informs Nigerians that the requirement for waiver does not apply to people who are board members or board chairmen occupying such committee positions.

“We are granting the waiver because we have noted that some chapters are planning to say that some people are either returning or they are new members and cannot contest to be delegate but the issue of three-man delegate is an ad hoc because immediately after the convention, national or local government delegate, upon the end of the congress, the delegated ceases.

“The waivers that the NWC is dealing with is the ones for th state House of Assembly the House of Representatives, Senate, governorship and presidential. Those are the waivers that we are looking at not issue of delegates.

“The constitution of the party stipulates that there will be a national convention where decisions or memos from the national executives will either be approved or rejected and there is no way that you can go to a presidential election and say you are adopting or electing someone who has not bought form.

The October 30 for purchase of forms will not be extended and it is applicable to all candidates.”

On the application for waivers, Metuh said  PDP had granted automatic waivers to all the applicants contesting to become members of the ad hoc delegates that would elect the party candidates for the state House of Assembly.

He further said: “Today, the NWC has granted unconditional waivers to all returning and new members of the party who seek to participate in the ward delegate primaries. Because it is an ad hoc primaries, the NWC wishes to clarify that there is no requirement for party members to write to ward chairmen or local government chairmen for waivers. All party members, new, and returning,  are free to participate in the ward delegate congress.

“The NWC today decided that the issue of the closing date for the collection of the nomination forms cannot be extended. It will not be extended, beyond 6p.m., no party member can obtain forms for our congress and convention 2014 after the deadline, the last date is October 30 and it will not be extended.

“The NWC wishes to inform all our party members that the conduct of the primaries and the convention will be open and transparent, we will not tolerate any attempt to influence or interfere in that process, nobody will be selected, nobody will be adopted, no consensus, it will be an open and transparent primaries at all level.

“Waiver has been granted to all those who want to be delegates but for all those who want to be in the House of Assembly, Senate, House of Representatives, governorship, they will go through our process by applying for waivers. Today, the NWC has granted a lot of waivers but because of the fact that more are going to apply tomorrow, we have not released it. After tomorrow, we will release the names of those who have been granted waiver to run or contest for the positions,” Metuh said.

Article Credit: Thisdaylive

Updated 4 Years ago

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Tags:     President Goodluck Jonathan     PDP     Court of Appeal     Justice Abdulkadir Jega-led     Dr. Umar Ardo     Cyriacus Njoku     Dr. Amuda Kannike