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Jonathan cleared to contest 2023 Presidency

A Federal High Court in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State capital, has cleared former President Goodluck Jonathan for the 2023 Presidential contest.

A Federal High Court in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State capital, has cleared former President Goodluck Jonathan for the 2023 Presidential contest.

The court gave the ruling on the eve of the ruling party’s presidential contest.

Jonathan has been linked to the All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential race as the N100 million forms were purchased on his behalf.

However, there have been different positions on his eligibility for the 2023 presidential election.

But on Friday, the court held that Jonathan, who lost the 2015 election to President Muhammadu Buhari, could still vie for the highest office in the land.

The presiding judge, Justice Isa Hamma Dashen, who gave the judgement on Friday, also held that Jonathan’s right to contest for the office of president in 2023 cannot be stopped by any retroactive law.

In an origination summons filed by Andy Solomon and Idibiye Abraham, the plaintiffs sought an order of the court stating that Jonathan is not affected by the fourth alteration to the constitution barring Vice-Presidents who succeed their principals from serving more than one full term.

APC, Jonathan and the Independent National Electoral Commission are listed as defendants in the suit marked FHC/YNG/CS/86/2022 which is before Justice Isa Dashen.

Jonathan took over power when the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua died in 2010 and contested the 2011 election, which he won.

Daily Trust had reported that two influential governors from the north are behind the return bid of Jonathan.

Sources told this newspaper that the two governors close to President Muhammadu Buhari have secured the buy-in of a section of the presidency to actualise their agenda of drafting the former president into the presidential race.

“The sources mentioned the names of the governors but were withheld by this paper because our reporters were unable to get their reactions as they are out of the country.”

“While one of the governors is from the North West, the other is from the North East geopolitical zone. The sources said the duo began the moves last year but that they jettisoned it to promote the candidature of the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele.

“However, when the Emefiele’s project was not flying, the governors returned to the Jonathan bid.  The two governors have been playing key roles in the affairs of the APC in the last few years. The former president had since keyed into the move as evident in his body language,” the source said.

Last month, when he addressed some of his supporters who asked him to join the 2023 presidency race, Jonathan told them to “watch out”.