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2015 election: absence of judge stalls judgment

18 October 2012, 14:20

Abuja - Judgement in a suit filed by a PDP member, Mr Cyracus Njoku, asking an Abuja High Court to stop President Goodluck Jonathan from contesting the 2015 election was on Thursday stalled.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the judgment was not delivered, due to the absence of the Presiding Judge, Justice Mudashiru Oniyangi.

No reason was however, given for the judge's absence.

Oniyangi had fixed Oct. 18 to deliver judgment on wether Jonathan will have a place in the 2015 presidential elections after entertaining arguments from parties to the suit.

Njoku, from Zuba Ward in the Abuja Municipal Area Council with PDP registration number 1622735, had urged the court to declare that Jonathan could not swear to an oath thrice in view of section 137(1) (b) of the 1999 Constitution.

In the suit, Njoku also wants the court to declare that the President’s tenure began on May 6, 2010 and that his two terms shall end on May 29, 2015, having taken his second oath of office on May 29, 2011.

He also wants the court to declare that by virtue of section 136 (1) (b) of the Constitution, no person (including Jonathan) shall take the oath of allegiance and the oath of office prescribed in the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution more than twice.

Njoku is also praying for an order, restraining Jonathan from further contesting or attempting to vie for
the office of president after May 29, 2015 when his tenure shall by the Nigerian Constitution, end.

He is also seeking an order, restraining  the PDP from further sponsoring or attempting to sponsor Jonathan as candidate for election to the office of the President in 2015.

He also wants an order of court directing INEC not to accept the name of Jonathan, where sponsored by his party again to run for the Office of President in 2015.

But Counsel to Jonathan, Mr Kelechi Normeh, in a preliminary objection, asked the court to discountenance the suit.

Normeh, who is holding brief for Ade Okeaya-Inneh (SAN), described the suit as “frivolous and vexatious” and meant to make the court to labour in futility because the suit was purely an academic exercise.

He also urged the court to hold that the suit instituted by Njoku, failed to disclose reasonable cause of action.

He said that Jonathan’s status and position was formidably backed by the 1999 Constitution.

Normeh said that Jonathan had not indicated or announced anywhere whether in words or in writing that he would contest the presidential election in 2015

Speaking to NAN outside the court room, Counsel to Njoku, Mr Osuagwu Ugochukwu, said that no new date had been fixed for the judgment.

``We were told that when my lord returns, they will send us letters informing us about the new date,'' he said.



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