Supporters of former president Goodluck Jonathan are in a happy mood as a federal high court in Yenagoa, Bayelsa state capital, has ruled that he is eligible to contest the 2023 presidential election.
On Friday, Isa Hamma Dashen, the presiding judge, delivered judgment in the matter with Suit No: FHC/YNG/CS/86/2022.
The judge held that Jonathan’s right to vie for the office of president again cannot be prevented by any retroactive law.
Jonathan was Nigeria’s vice-president between 2007 and 2010. He became the president in May 2010 following the death of President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua and completed the latter’s tenure.
He won the 2011 presidential election but failed in his attempt to secure a second term in office in 2015.
There have been speculations that the former president had left the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the All Progressives Congress (APC) — the platform on which President Muhammadu Buhari defeated him in 2015.
A coalition of northern groups had procured the APC presidential nomination and expression of interest forms for the former president.
The forms were purchased days after he had asked his supporters to “watch out” when he was asked if he would contest the 2023 poll.
But in a statement issued by Ikechukwu Eze, his media aide, Jonathan had said he didn’t give his consent for the purchase of the forms.
Subsequently, a report by NAN said “a dependable source in Jonathan’s camp” revealed that the former president had registered with the APC in his ward in Otuoke, Bayelsa state.
However, the PDP insisted that Jonathan was yet to resign his membership in the opposition party.