President Goodluck Jonathan. (File: AFP)
Abuja - The People's Democratic Party (PDP) has welcomed Tuesday’s ruling by the Court of Appeal upholding President Goodluck Jonathan's eligibility to contest the 2015 Presidential election.
The party claimed the court ruling represented positive steps towards the President impending overwhelming victory at the polls on March 28.
The ruling party through a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh, welcomed the verdict.
“It is a victory for democracy and the rule of law especially in protecting the inalienable rights of eligible citizens to freely participate in the electoral process without any form of hindrance.”
The party added that the development had helped enrich the judiciary and further deepened the nation’s democratic evolution.
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The party also applauded Jonathan for always remaining focused and upholding democratic principles, which enabled Nigerians to operate in an environment that allows for full expression of fundamental rights.
It commended the judiciary for its stabilizing role in the polity.
The ruling party urged its members and supporters across the country to "close ranks and stand on the platform of this judicial victory to intensify efforts for eventual electoral victory for the president and other candidates of the party in the general elections."
Tuesday's judgment was in the appeal filed on April 2013 by Cyracus Njoku, challenging the verdict delivered by Justice Mudashiru Oniyangi, then of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory in March 2013.
Njoku had filed the appeal after Justice Oniyangi dismissed his (Njoku’s) suit and held that President Jonathan was eligible to contest in 2015.
Affirming the trial court’s judgment on Tuesday, the five-man panel of the appellate court, held that Jonathan could not be said to have earlier taken the oath of office as President twice as he became President upon the death of Umar Yar’Adua, not through election.