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Jonathan challenges suit seeking to void his emergence as Ag President

By Ise-Oluwa Ige
Acting President Jonathan Goodluck ,yesterday, asked a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja to dismiss a fresh lawsuit by Mr. Adamu Farouk Aliyu seeking to invalidate his emergence for want of competence.

Alternatively, he is inviting the court to hold that the February 9, 2010 resolution by the National Assembly mandating him to perform full presidential powers was not only valid but was also passed for the good governance, order and peace of the country.

Dr. Goodluck made the request on a day the trial high court judge, Justice Adamu Bello, issued a fresh summons, inviting the House of Representatives to come to court to defend the suit by Farouk challenging the validity of its resolution empowering Jonathan to act.

Judge rules on suit on next adjourned date

Justice Bello, who issued the fresh summons, said he would decide on the next adjourned date whether or not to hear and decide the preliminary objection brought by the Acting President challenging the locus standi of the plaintiff to institute the action in the first place or and roll it together with the substantive suit.

The two chambers of the National Assembly had, on February 9, invoked the ”doctrine of necessity” to pass a joint resolution, mandating Jonathan to assume full presidential powers in acting capacity pending when President UmaruYar’Adua would resume office.

The National Assembly took the decision at a time when the stability of the country was under serious threat.

But, former Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Aliyu, had gone to court with a constitutional lawsuit to void the resolution.

He had argued that the supposed resolution passed by the two chambers of the National Assembly in the circumstance was not cognisable by Section 145 of the 1999 Constitution which they cited or any other provision of the constitution and, was therefore, null and void.

The Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation had, however, filed an objection challenging the competence of the suit.

Acting President fights back

Minister of Justice, Prince Adetokunbo Kayode (SAN), in the preliminary objection, had argued that the plaintiff lacked the locus standi to sue; that the suit disclosed no reasonable cause of action, that there is no dispute between the plaintiff and all the defendants and that the suit is an abuse of court process.

Although he did not say that Section 145 cited by the lawmakers envisaged that such resolution could be passed, he, argued that the suit was brought to cause confusion in the polity.


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