I can stay in office for more than eight years – Jonathan

President Goodluck Jonathan on
Monday affirmed that his stay in office
could legally go beyond eight years
under certain conditions.
Jonathan declared this in an Abuja High Court
hearing, following a suit against his alleged
2015 re-election bid.
The case was filed by People’s Democratic
Party presidential aspirant, Mr Cyriacus
Njoku, on March 20 seeking the
determination of section 135 (2) and 137 (1)
of the Constitution which limit presidential tenure to maximum of two terms of four years
Counsel to Jonathan, Mr Kenechukwu Nomeh, who represented Mr Ade Okeaya-Inneh (SAN),
argued that under section 315 (3) of the constitution, a president could stay in office for
additional time beyond his tenure in certain circumstances.
“The tenure of occupant of an office can be extended by the National Assembly for six
months in following conditions: when the nation is at war and in situation of death of the
occupant of the office which applies to President Jonathan,” he said.
He urged the court to dismiss the suit for being incompetent and premature.
Earlier, Justice Mudashiru Oniyangi overruled an objection by Jonathan and the PDP that a
certain newspaper publication is not a sufficient cause of action.
The publication in question, marked Exhibit VRA 1, is the Punch newspaper of March 16,
2012, which contained a statement credited to the Jonathan’s spokesman Reuben Abati
alluding to the President’s intention to seek re-election.
Oniyangi also upheld the submission of Mr Njoku that the suit being a constitutional matter,
he needed not show evidence of sufficient interest as locus standi to institute the action.
The case has been adjourned till October 18, in consideration of the annual vacation of the
FCT High Court which begins on August 6.


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