2023: Igbo group claims amended 1999 constitution bars Jonathan from contesting

2023: Igbo group claims amended 1999 constitution bars Jonathan from contesting

- An Igbo group has reacted to reports linking former president, Goodluck Jonathan, to another attempt at the presidency

- The director of the group, Law Mefor explained why there is doubt about the legality of a Jonathan return to the presidential villa

- Mefor argues in favour of a presidential candidate coming from the southeast

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An Igbo group has argued that the constitutional amendment assented to by President Muhammadu Buhari on June 4, 2018, has disqualified ex-president, Goodluck Jonathan, from contesting in the 2023 presidential election.

This Day reported that the group, Igbo Leadership Development Foundation and Project Nigerian President of South East Extraction (Project -NIPSEE), stated that eligibility of Jonathan to contest is subject to court interpretation.

2023: Igbo group claims amended 1999 constitution bars Jonathan from contesting
President Muhammadu Buhari is sworn in as outgoing president Goodluck Jonathan looks on May 29, 2015 in Abuja, Nigeria. Photo: Bennett Raglin
Source: Getty Images

The vice-chairman and director of the group, Law Mefor, pointed out that Jonathan cannot contest in the 2023 election unless the law is repealed.

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According to Mefor:

“The law in question is the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (fourth Alteration No 16) Act, 2017). It was signed into law in June 4, 2018, by President Muhammadu Buhari.
“The extant section barring Jonathan from contesting states in its explanatory note…that ‘the act alters the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 to disqualify a person who was sworn in as president or governor to complete the term of an elected president or governor from being elected to the same office for more than a single term."

The group said provisions of sections 137 and 182 of 1999 Constitution implies that Jonathan should distance himself from the idea of a return to the presidency.

Mefor advised the former president to back the rotation of presidential power to the south-east region.

He warned that should Jonathan insist on contesting for the presidency in 2023, the group will seek a legal interpretation of the amended section in a court.

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Meanwhile, Goodluck Jonathan has finally spoken on the speculations regarding his possibility of contesting the 2023 presidential election.

The Cable reported that Jonathan said it is too early to talk about his interest in the 2023 elections. The former president made this known to newsmen on Friday, December 4, after attending an event organised by the Commonwealth Community Choir in Abuja.

Jonathan said there are still other issues to focus on ahead of the next general election.

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