Professor Awwal Yadudu was legal adviser to the late Head of State, General Sani Abacha. In an interview with Sunday Vanguard, he forecloses President Goodluck Jonathan’s re-election in 2015 on political and legal grounds. Yadudu believes the proposed National Conference is a ploy by the Federal Government to divert attention from the problems besetting it, saying the plan will fail.
His words, “If you read the 1999 Constitution carefully, it speaks about disqualification. It says a person shall be disqualified to hold office of governor of president if the person is elected twice to that office. A lot of people don’t quite know that that section says you cannot be eligible for the office of the president if you have contested twice. The same provision applies to the vice president meaning that a candidate is ineligible to contest if he has contested twice. The same qualification applies to the vice president. That means that Jonathan was elected with Yar’ Adua in 2007.
The vice president is part of the office of the president. By my understanding of that provision, President Jonathan is disqualified because when he stepped into the shoes of Yar’ Adua upon his death, he was not only completing a term, he was also part of the office of the president. The second aspect of the argument is the Constitution which says if you have taken oath of office twice. Jonathan has taken oath of office twice.
He took it when President Yar’ Adua died as a successor and took it when he was elected as president. There is no argument about the fact that he has taken oath of office twice, he can’t take it thrice. By the way, a lower court has ruled in the president’s favour and it has gone to the Court of Appeal and I can assure you the matter will end up at the Supreme Court and it will not be helpful to his situation”.
READ THE FULL INTERVIEW IN TOMORROW’S EDITION OF SUNDAY VANGUARD.