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Eligibility suit: Jonathan knocks one down

The plaintiffs who filed one of the suits before a Federal High Court, Abuja to challenge the eligibility of President Goodluck Jonathan to seek re-election in the March 28 presidential election‎ have withdrawn the case.
Justice Ahmed Mohammed on Wednesday struck out the suit following an application by the plaintiffs to discontinue the suit.
The court also ordered the plaintiffs to pay N50, 000 to Jonathan whose lawyers had been made to file responses before the decision to withdraw the suit.
The plaintiffs are Prof. Tunde Samuel, Dr. Junaidu Mohammed, Mr. Rasak Adeogun and Yahaya Ezeemoo Ndu. President Jonathan was the only defendant in the suit.
‎The court had on February 3, 2015 fixed Wednesday for the hearing of the suit. But the notice of discontinuance of the suit was filed on February 4.
A counsel for the plaintiffs, Mr. Alex Akoja, who appeared in court on Wednesday, said the plaintiffs gave the instruction to withdraw the suit and the notice of discontinuance was subsequently filed on February 4.
Jonathan’s counsel, Mr. Ade Okeanya-Inneh (SAN), did not oppose the application but asked for cost on the grounds that the calibre of six senior counsel, including Mallam Yusuf Ali (SAN), who filed the suit ought to have weighed the merit of the case before instituting it.
‎There are about two other suits challenging Jonathan’s eligibility to seek another term in office, still pending before Justice Mohammed.
On Monday, the judge referred one of the cases to the Court of Appeal for determination following an application filed on November 28 by the plaintiffs in the suit – Adejumo Ajagbe and Olatoye Wahab.
The ruling by the court on Monday now made ‎it the second of such cases now pending before the Court of Appeal.
The plaintiffs in the suits, including the one that was withdrawn on Wednesday, contended that Jonathan was ineligible to re-contest for the office of the President, arguing that allowing him to do so could amount to spending more than eight years allowed for anyone to serve in the office.

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