By Akinwande Soji-Ojo
Human rights lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN), has said former President Goodluck Jonathan cannot contest the 2023 presidential election because of constitutional provisions barring him from seeking re-election.
Falana stated this in a statement he personally signed on Thursday, following growing calls on Jonathan to contest the election. The former president is speculated to have concluded plans to join the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to contest the presidential election.
Falana noted that Jonathan, who was president between 2010 and 2015, would breach constitutional term limits of two terms of eight years if he runs for the presidency and wins again as stated in section 137 (3) of the constitution.
It would be recalled that Jonathan became the president in 2010 after the death of President Umaru Yar’adua. He later contested and won the 2011 election.
Falana further faulted the argument that the provision could not be applied retroactively to have an effect on Jonathan.
“Assuming without conceding that the amendment is not retrospective, it is submitted that under the current constitution a president or governor cannot spend more than two terms of eight years.
“In other words, the constitution will not allow anyone to be in office for more than a cumulative period of eight years,” he said.