Four Nigerians: Tunde Samuel, Junaidu Mohammed, Rasak Adeogun and Yahaya Ezeemoo Ndu are asking an Abuja High Court to declare that constitutionally, it is unlawful, illegal and not permissible for any person to occupy the office of the President of Nigeria for more than a cumulative and aggregate period of eight years when the country was not at war.
It will be recalled that the plaintiffs had applied to withdraw their suit from the Federal High Court for tactical reasons.
The trial judge, Justice Ahmed Mohammed, consequently struck it out and slammed a N50, 000 fine on them.
But the new case has been re-assigned by the Abuja High Court, to Justice Ishaq Bello, who had adjourned the matter to February 22 for hearing.
The judge had earlier ordered that the Originating Summons be served on the President, Goodluck Jonathan, to enable him file his defence.
The President was served through substituted means, to wit; by publication of the court processes in a national newspaper.
The plaintiffs, through their counsel, Yusuf Ali, told the court that they have complied with the order for service.
The plaintiffs’ case is that the constitution does not permit anyone to stay in office for more than eight years.
According to them, Jonathan is not legally fit to contest the presidential election.
They argued that allowing him to participate in the election would amount to giving him the opportunity to spend more than eight years in office, contrary to the provision of the 1999 Constitution as amended.
The plaintiffs argued that should Jonathan win another term of four years from 2015, he would have been permitted to occupy the office of President for more than eight years.
They, therefore, prayed the court to declare that in computing the period already spent in office as President, the period from 6th day of May 2010 to 28th May 2011 should be considered.
Among others, the plaintiffs asked the court to declare that having spent a period of more than four years in office as President since May 6 2010, Jonathan no longer had the “competence, authority or entitlement to contest the same office for another term of four years.” [myad]