The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has told a Federal High Court in Abuja that President Goodluck Jonathan has an inalienable right to contest the 2015 presidential election, saying that the party cannot afford to stay aloof when his eligibility to contest is being challenged.
The PDP stated this yesterday in its joinder application in a suit by a Port Harcourt-based lawyer and PDP card carrying member, Henry Amadi. The plaintiff is asking the court to stop Jonathan from participating as a candidate for the 2015 presidential election after his current tenure of office. In the suit before Justice Adamu Bello Amadi, the plaintiff, who named Jonathan and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as co-defendants to the suit, also wants the court to hold that Jonathan is ineligible to contest the 2015 poll on the grounds that he would be spending more than the maximum period of two terms of four years as envisaged by the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
But the PDP, in its joinder application, wants the court to join it as a necessary party on the grounds that the outcome of the suit will affect the party. The joinder application, which was filed by the PDP national legal adviser, Mr Victor Kwon, also wants the court to make consequential order directing the plaintiff to amend his originating processes to reflect the PDP as a defendant and cause same to be served on the party. In a four-paragraph affidavit in support of the application and a written address, Kwon argued that, from the reliefs sought by the plaintiff, the PDP’s right to sponsor Jonathan for 2015 presidential elections was being challenged. “This action,” the party said, “cannot effectually and completely be determined without joining the applicant herein. By the very tenor of the reliefs sought by the plaintiff, this suit questions the right of the applicant to sponsor one of its members (Jonathan) for the 2015 presidential elections.
The applicant herein seeks to protect its interest in the present action by this application. “Having been sponsored by the applicant (PDP) for the 2011 election - and Jonathan being a member of the PDP who is capable of been sponsored for the 2015 presidential election, the PDP will directly be affected by the outcome of the decision of this court one way or the other.” The court has fixed February 26 for the hearing of PDP’s application, following the argument of the plaintiff’s lawyer, Mr. C.N. Eke, opposing the application for joinder. Eke also told the court that he would like to file his preliminary objection against the PDP’s application for joinder before the next adjourned date.