Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke, yesterday opposed an application brought before a Federal High Court in Abuja by Mr Olatoye Wahab and Mr Adejumo Mansouri Ajegbe, asking that their suit on the eligibility of President Goodluck Jonathan to contest the impending presidential election to be transferred to the Court of Appeal for determination.
Wahab and Ajegbe had approached the federal court asking it to determine whether by the joint effect of section 135(2) (a) and (b)of the Nigerian Constitution, a person sworn into office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on two previous terms is considered to have been elected to that office at two previous elections.
Both are asking the court to decide whether the President can present himself for the purpose of being elected as the President having participated as a candidate and emerged winner at two previous presidential elections on account of which Jonathan would have spent more than 8 years prescribed by the constitution.
The Attorney General opposed the application noting that the federal court is constitutionally empowered to interpret the constitution and should determine the case pending before it which borders on interpretation of constitutional provision.
He asserted that referring the case to the Court of Appeal will amount to abandoning its responsibility and transferring same to the appellate court.
He urged the court to first give its decision on the matter before it can proceed to the appellate court.
The trial judge, Justice Ahmed Ramat Mohammed, thereafter adjourned the case to the 12th of January 2015, to rule on the application.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court is expected to deliver judgment on President Jonathan’s eligibility to run for President or not in 2015. The case which is being given a special attention and accelerated hearing, if decided, will solve the issue of eligibility and many other issues surrounding the heated elections of 2015.
Already, many legal practitioners and bodies have challenged President Jonathan not to run for President again, considering the fact that, insecurity challenge has been escalating, corruption is at its unprecedented level, and some also point to his alleged inability to control the government of the state.