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Lawyer faults Falana’s position on Jonathan, says he’s eminently qualified to contest 2023 elections



A human rights lawyer, Barr. Eric Omare, has faulted the stand of a colleague and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Femi Falana, over his comment stating that former President Goodluck Jonathan is constitutionally disqualified from contesting in the 2023 Presidential election.

Recall that it was reported how Jonathan is staging a return to Aso Rock after he was defeated as the sitting president on the platform of People’s Democratic Party of the attempt by the then All Progressives Congress’ candidate, Muhammadu Buhari, in 2015.

Eric K. Omare, who is the Principal Partner of E. K. Omare & Co, based in Warri, Delta State, said Falana was not correct with his interpretation of the constitution he quoted, claiming he didn’t reflect the position of the law.

According to him, the provisions of section 137 (3) of the 1999 Constitution do not apply to the former president.


“I have just read a story currently trending on the social media credited to leading Human Rights Lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mr. Femi Falana to the effect that former President Goodluck Jonathan is constitutionally barred from contesting in the 2023 Presidential election. Mr. Falana predicated his position on the provision of section 137 (3) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended). I beg to disagree with Mr. Falana’s submission. It does not reflect the position of the law. Beyond Mr. Falana’s submission, this issue has generated a lot of controversy in recent times and by this short piece, I shall show that former President Jonathan is constitutionally qualified to contest in the 2023 Presidential election and that the provisions of section 137 (3) of the 1999 Constitution do not apply to him,” the lawyer wrote.

He analysed his defence below.


Section 137 (3) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) provides thus:

‘A person who was sworn-in as President to complete the term for which another person was elected as President shall not be elected to such office for more than a single term’’.

In simple terms, section 137 (3) means that a person who had completed the term of another person, just like former President Jonathan completed the term of late President Yar’Adua, can be elected for only one term.


However, the key question is whether this constitutional provision, that is, section 137 (3), applies to former President Jonathan in respect of his constitutional right to contest the 2023 Presidential elections. This leads us to the determination of its origin. Section 137 (3) came about as a result of the 10th alteration to the 1999 Constitution which was assented to by President Buhari on the 7th day of June, 2018. In effect, the commencement date or the date section 137 (3) enters into operation is from the 7th day of June, 2018. Now, former President Jonathan completed the term of Late President Yar’Adua from May 5, 2010 to May 29, 2011 and served a single term from May 29, 2011 to May 29, 2015.

The question is whether a law or constitutional provision which came into effect on the 7th day of June, 2018, after Jonathan had served the term of Late Yar’Adua and a single term in office, has retrospective application to an event that occurred before the coming into effect of the law. Basically, the apex court in Nigeria, which is the Supreme Court, has distinguished between two sets of laws. That is, the substantive or organic and the procedural laws. Whereas substantive laws deal with substantive rights and obligations of persons, on the other hand, procedural laws deal with issues of procedure such as rules of court. As to the application of these two sets of laws to practical situations, the Supreme Court has provided guide in a plethora of cases. In the recent case of Nwora & ors v. Nwabueze & Ors (2020) ALL FWLR (Pt. 1029) 58, 93, paras A-H, a case which deals with one of the constitutional alteration bills signed into law by President Buhari on the 7th day of June, 2018, the Supreme Court, Per Nweze, JSC stated the law in these words:

“Both in England and in Nigeria, superior courts have made it, abundantly, clear that the applicable law to a cause of action is the law prevailing at the time the cause of action arose, notwithstanding, that the law has been revoked at the time the action is being trial … In all, it is a fundamental principle of our law that rights of parties in an issue in litigation are decided on the basis of the substantive or organic law in force at the time of the act in question. This distinguishes them from adjectival or procedural law where the rule governing practice and procedure is the rule in force at the time of trial or the application is heard, unless there is provision to the contrary…”

In simple terms, constitutional provisions or laws relating to the right to contest elections such as section 137 (3) fall under the umbrella of substantive or organic law and as the Supreme Court has repeatedly held, the substantive or organic law applicable is the law that was in existence at the time the act in question occurred. The simple reason is that laws generally do not have retrospective effect, except otherwise stated. In other words, laws apply only to acts that occur after the enactment of the law and not those that occurred before the enactment. See SHABA & ORS v. KPOTUN & ORS (2021) LPELR-54766 (CA), 29-30. The act in question here is that former President Jonathan completed the term of Late President Yar’Adua before spending another term as President from 2011 to 2015.

Clearly, from the foregoing statement of the law, the relevant questions that come to mind are:


i. When did former President Jonathan complete the term of President Yar’Adua and served one term?
ii. Was the provision of Section 137(3) the law in existence at that time?

The answers to the foregoing questions are not farfetched. Former President Jonathan completed the term of Late Yar’Adua from May 10, 2010 to May 29, 2011 and served one term from May 29, 2011 to May 29, 2015. Then, the answer to the second question is simple. Section 137 (3) was not in existence or operation at as May 10, 2010 to May 29, 2015 when the act in question occurred; hence it is not applicable.

Based on the foregoing, I submit most humbly that the learned Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mr. Femi Falana was wrong to contend that former President Jonathan is not qualified to contest the 2023 Presidential election on the basis of section 137 (3) which came into effect on the 7th day of July, 2018. Section 137 (3) does not apply to former President Jonathan and he is constitutionally qualified to contest the 2023 Presidential election, if he wishes to aspire.

It is widely rumoured that the former president may be declaring his intention early May on the platform with which he was defeated as the sitting president back in 2015.

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Why Bill On Surrogacy, Human Fertilisation Is Important In Lagos – Obasa



The Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, on Wednesday said Lagos deserved a law on surrogacy, human fertilisation and other related areas.

Dr. Obasa said this during a stakeholders’ meeting on a bill for a law to regulate human fertilisation and surrogacy procedure and practice.

While seeking to provide a legal framework for regulating surrogacy in the State, the bill further seeks to prohibit certain practices in connection with embryos and gametes.

Represented by Hon. Desmond Elliot, a lawmaker at the House, Speaker Obasa noted that the proposed law would give a ‘human face’ to the practice by experts in the field and add to the advancement of Lagos.

“Lagos State has consistently grown since 1999 when we birthed the current democracy. Today, we remain proud to say that we are in a State that has become a good example to others in terms of governance, advancement in thoughts and actions and good leadership.

“The bill being discussed today is another example of good thinking and effective leadership,” the Speaker said.

He promised that the opinions and contributions of the stakeholders including those from the Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) sector would be considered by the House in passing the bill.

Noting that the bill would address the controversies and litigations associated with surrogacy and related matters in the society, the chairman of the Committee on Health Services, Hon. Sokunle Hakeem, urged the stakeholders to submit memoranda that would help the passage of the bill into law.

Giving a general overview of the bill, Hon. Victor Akande, chairman of the House Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights, Public Petitions and LASIEC, said the proposed law was to help ensure that surrogacy is practised responsibly and in accordance with the law.

In his contribution, Emeritus Prof. Osato Ona Frank Giwa-Osagie, founder of OMNI Medical Clinic and expert in In-Vitro Fertilisation (IVF), urged the House to ensure that a comprehensive legislation about Assisted Reproductive Technology to make for effective enforcement.

He applauded Lagos for being a leading state in the health sector in Nigeria.

He also implored the House to incorporate the regulations of Health Facilities Monitoring and Accreditation Agency (HEFAMAA) into the bill.

Congratulating the House Committee on Health Services for the effort, he appealed to the House to incorporate professionals, especially where technicalities arise in the consideration of the bill.

On his part, Prof. Oladapo Ashiru, Secretary-General of the International Federation of Fertility Societies (IFFS) and President of the Academy of Medicine Specialities of Nigeria, also urged the House to bridge the laws from HEFAMAA to create an enabling surrogacy law.

The founder of Met Surrogate Mothers Agency, Mrs. Olaronke Thaddeus, suggested that the bill should include surrogacy agencies as the latter are the registered practitioners that connect intending parents to surrogate candidates.

Highlighting that the rights of women and children must be protected as they are the key candidates in surrogacy, Dr. Ivie Omoruyi of the Blossom & Oasis RHS, opined that children and women must be factored in the bill.

Contributing also, Mrs. Ogunmade Ty-Lolu, CEO, Precious Conceptions and beneficiary of surrogacy, who shared the depressing and traumatic experience she had for 13 years before going for surrogacy in India, suggestee that the five-year limit before couples can engage in surrogacy be expunged from the bill.

She also spoke on the importance of considering the society as surrogacy is not just for experts and practitioners, but for the society.

While commending the participants, Hon. Adebisi Yusuff, a member of the House, stated that the laws of the Lagos Assembly gives the State the legislative backing it needs to be better.

Speaking at the meeting, the Clerk of the House, Barr. Olalekan Onafeko, noted: “We have one of the best parliamentary system in Africa and our laws have been requested and replicated even by some countries. We should be proud of this advancement and be certain that the inputs and memorandum you (the stakeholders) have submitted today will be considered in the bill.”

Commending the House, Prof. Ashiru assured that the society of Assisted Reproductive Technology, are anxious for the passage of the bill with their contributions included.

He promised to support its engagement and enforcement.

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2023: ‘One Day Governors’ Urge Nigerians To Vote For Asiwaju Tinubu As Next Nigerian President Under APC



With the 2023 General Elections around the corner, Nigerians have been urged to vote for the Presidential Candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC),
Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

Addressing journalists at a press conference via zoom on Sunday December 4, 2022, some past Lagos State “One Day Governors” stated that “there is no better candidate than our father, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, former Governor of Lagos State as President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”

Five of the past “One Day Governors” who spoke at the conference, and who are successful in their various endeavours, attributed their successes to Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and have promised to mobilise the youths to go out enmasse and cast their votes for the former governor of Lagos State.

They urged fellow youths “to use our example and experience to liberate themselves from the campaign of calumny of those who had similar opportunity to show love, to give care and to make effort to give youths in their states self-confidence and a secured future, but failed woefully to do so.


“A Tinubu presidency will give youths real sense of belonging and integrated participation.”

They emphasised that there is no doubt that Nigerians are preparing to set up a new democratic dispensation in February 2023, adding that elections are held every four years in line with the Nigerian Constitution to elect new representatives for the executive and legislative arms of government.

“This conforms with the principle of popular sovereignty which says the citizens must determine those to represent them.

“For power to come from the people and not, as we have had in our tragic military period, the barrel of the gun, the exercise of franchise by voting has been established as the global standard.

“We commend the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC for putting in place policies and processes which have enabled the youths to register to vote.
For the first time since the return of democracy in 1999, INEC has released figures to show that majority of voters in the new register are voters,” they said.

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According to them, as expected, not less than 18 parties have put forward candidates for the offices at House of Assembly, Governorship, House of Representatives, Senate and the Presidency.

“Campaigns have also started in earnest as candidates sell their track records and manifesto of their vision to the Nigerian people.

“A boy or girl is the product of his or her experience. We are Nigerian youths. Our experience has made it an obligation to come forward at this time to address this press conference.

“The condition and aspiration of students in Lagos State primary and secondary schools went through a revolution in 2001 when, for the first time, mentoring youths and nurturing them to imbibe values of achievement took a radical dimension with the introduction of the Spelling Bee competition.

“It was the pet project of Senator Mrs Oluremi Tinubu. Her husband, our father, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu was the governor.


“Every child who has demonstrated some proficiency in English Language was invited by school managers to compete so that the school could present it’s best candidate in the inter-school competition,” they said.

They stated that the competition moved from local government education districts to state districts to the finals, adding that the best candidate to spell won.

“What values did we learn?
First, that your achievement in life is ultimately determined by your effort, not by the wealth or poverty of your parents.

“Second, that the acquisition of knowledge and skills is critical to your success.

“Third, that only a leadership that cares for the youths and facilitates their development is serious about sincerely ensuring that the youths will be the leaders if tomorrow.


“Fourth, that performance is not determined by your tribe or religion or class. It is determined by how you use your talents and skills.

“Finally, we were taught to see ourselves as products of the investment of public resources and such must imbibe patriotism, enterprise and be our brothers and sisters’ keepers,” they said.

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It was emphasised that “without any fear of contradiction, I wish to say, each and everyone of us who emerged One Day Governors and our fellow winners who were deputy governors, speakers and commissioners have gone into the world and we are excelling.

“We wish to thank our father, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who, despite the fact that we were just teenagers, showed the highest example of love and humility for vacating his office for us to perform our role as One Day Governors.

“It also showed the huge respect he has for the womenfolk and our mother, Senator Oluremi Tinubu in particular, for not saying women could only function in the kitchen and not rejecting an idea that has transformed our lives
The above testimony leads us to the logical conclusion.


Some of the “One Day Governors,” who are successful in their endeavours, include Chukwuebuka Anisiobi, winner of the 2001 edition.

Anisiobi attended Maryland Comprehensive Secondary School and graduated in 2001. He later went to the
Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, Osun State, where he graduated in 2007 having read Computer Engineering, and graduated 2007. He later went to GE Oil & Gas University, Florence and got a degree in Oil and Gas Management in 2015. He is currently a Drilling Operations Engineer with Oando Energy Services, and he is married with one child.

Otiti Jasmine, who won the 2002 edition, has a Bachelor’s degree in English from the State University of New York (SUNY) Brockport and currently works as a copywriter.

Emmanuel Oluwambepelumi Aiyenitaju, who won the 2003 edition, finished from
CMS Grammar School, Bariga, Lagos

He later graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Pure and Applied Chemistry (First Class Honours), from the University of Lagos, Akoka in 2008.


He currently works with Akintola Williams Deloitte as Audit Senior in the Energy & Resources Department.

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Tade Ajao, who won the competition in
2005 at the age of 14, and studied Medicine at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, Osun State.

Ikechukwu Abundance Nlemadim won the 2006 edition of One Day Governor.

Nlemadim attended Ire-Akari Grammar School, Okota-Isolo, Lagos.

He holds Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Lagos, Akoka.


He worked as a Graduate Technical sales Engineer with Richardson Oil and Gas. He
later joined PZ Cussons Ltd as a Category and Innovations Manager.

He is currently working with Diageo Nigeria as a commercial graduate and he is married to Itunu Bello and they are still expecting their first child.

Maryam Busari-Obadina was One Day Governor in 2007 at the age of 16.
She is a Legal Practitioner and currently works as State Counsel with the Lagos State Ministry of Justice.

Daniel Osunbor was One Day Governor in 2008. He graduated with Bachelor’s degree in Microbiology from the University of Benin (UNIBEN) in 2014.

Olaide Adesopo won the Spelling Bee in 2009 at age of 16. She holds Bachelor’s Degree in International Relations from the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife.
She later underwent her Youth Service with the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA).


Oluwatoyin Adeosun was One Day Governor in 2010. She later proceeded
to The Federal University Of Agriculture, Abeokuta. She later did her Industrial Training (IT) at the Ministry of Economic Planning and Budget.

Akpakpan Iniodu Jones was One Day Governor in 2011.

He attended Baptist Senior High School, Obanikoro and won at the at of 17.
He currently studying law at the University of Ibadan, Oyo State.

Lilian Ogbuefi won the competition
in 2012. She attended Lagos State Model College Kankon. She studied at Senior at Fisk University, Nashville TN with double Major in Business Administration and English.

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Excitement as court reinstates Bwacha, Binani as APC guber candidates for Taraba, Adamawa



The Appeal Court sitting in Yola, the capital of Adamawa State has set aside the judgement of a Federal High Court, that earlier nullified the victories of the All Progressives Congress (APC) guber candidates for both Adamawa and Taraba States.

The candidates Aishatu Binani and Senator Emmanuel Bwacha, it would be recalled were recently warned by the Federal High Courts in both states to desist from parading themselves as the party’s governorship flag bearers for their respective states.

While that of Bwacha was necessitated by the suit filed by one of the aggrieved aspirants, David Sabo Kente, that of Binani, as noticed by TheHeute , was instituted by the former boss of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), Nuhu Ribadu.

In the ruling, the presiding judge, was observed to have also ruled out the request by Malam Nuhu Ribadu for the conduct of another fresh primary in Adamawa.

Wondering why the appellate court had earlier nullified Binani’s victory, the judge immediately directed the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to as a matter of urgency recognize Binani, as the gubernatorial candidate of APC in Adamawa State.

The same ruling was observed to have been implied to Bwacha, who is the incumbent Senator representing Taraba South.

When reached via a telephone, the elated Bwacha told our state correspondent that the court ruling is a victory for all Tarabans who have been yearning for a change in the state.

Describing the judiciary as the last hope of the common man, he beckoned to all the aggrieved members of the party to put their personal interests aside for the growth of the party.

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Also speaking, Bawacha’s campaign Director General of Media and Publicity, Aaron Artimas, said with the court ruling, the party’s guber candidate is now at liberty to flag off his campaign.

Lauding the sense of maturity displaced by the teaming supporters of Bwacha and the party at large, he urged them to close ranks and work as a family for the party’s victory in the forthcoming elections.

Supporters of the party from both states who also bared their minds to DAILY POST through a telephone interview, thanked the judge whom they described as a courageous judge.

At the time of filing this report, it is not yet clear whether Nuhu Ribadu and David Sabo Kente, would proceed to the Supreme Court to challenge the ruling.

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