Section 137 and 138 of the 1999 Constitution: Circumstances that Disqualifies a Candidate for the Office of the President

President

The 1999 Constitution

Section 137 (1)

A person shall not be qualified for election to the office of President if –

(A person who falls under any of the categories mentioned in this section shall not be qualified to run for the office of the President of Nigeria.)


Section 137 (1)(a)

subject to the provisions of section 28 of this Constitution, he has voluntarily acquired the citizenship of a
country other than Nigeria or, except in such cases as may be prescribed by the National Assembly, he has made a declaration of allegiance to such other country; or

(A person who has gone by him(her)self to acquire the citizenship of a country asides from Nigeria or except in situations where the National Assembly has prescribed a person has sworn allegiance to another country.)


Section 137 (1)(b)

he has been elected to such office at any two previous elections; or

(Such person who wants to contest for Presidency must not have been elected into the office of the President in the previous two elections which have been conducted.)


Section 137 (1)(c)

under the law in any part of Nigeria, he is adjudged to be a lunatic or otherwise declared to be of unsound mind;

(Such person must not have been declared to be of unsound mind or a lunatic i.e. crazy)


Section 137 (1)(d)

he is under a sentence of death imposed by any competent court of law or tribunal in Nigeria or a sentence of imprisonment or fine for any offence involving dishonesty or fraud (by whatever name called) or for any other offence, imposed on him by any court or tribunal or substituted by a competent authority for any other sentence imposed on him by such a court or tribunal; or

(Such person must not be sentenced to death by a Court or Tribunal in Nigeria or be imprisoned or fine for an offence which involves dishonesty or fraud or for any other offence or any other sentence which a Court or Tribunal has imposed on him.)


Section 137 (1)(e)

within a period of less than ten years before the date of the election to the office of President he has been convicted and sentenced for an offence involving dishonesty or he has been found guilty of the contravention of the Code of Conduct; or

(If such person within a period which is less than 10 years before the date of the Presidential election has been convicted and sentenced for an offence involving dishonesty or such person has been found guilty of going against the Code of Conduct.)


Section 137 (1)(f)

he is an undischarged bankrupt, having been adjudged or otherwise declared bankrupt under any law in force in Nigeria or any other country; or

(If such person is an undischarged bankrupt (i.e. someone who is legally bankrupt but who still has to pay back particular debts and cannot borrow again without telling financial organizations considering to grant such person a loan that they are bankrupt.) under any law in Nigeria or any other country asides Nigeria.)


Section 137 (1)(g)

being a person employed in the civil or public service of the Federation or of any State, he has not resigned, withdrawn or retired from the employment at least thirty days before the date of the election; or

(If such person willing to contest for the office of the President is a civil or public servant and has not resigned, withdrawn or retired from his/her employment at least thirty (30) days before the date of the election into such office.)


Section 137 (1)(h)

he is a member of any secret society; or

(If such person is a member of a secret society.)


Section 137 (1)(i)

he has been indicted for embezzlement or fraud by a Judicial Commission of Inquiry or an Administrative
Panel of Inquiry or a Tribunal set up under the Tribunals of Inquiry Act, a Tribunals of Inquiry Law or any other law by the Federal or State Government which indictment has been accepted by the Federal or State Government, respectively; or

(If such person has been charged formally for embezzlement or fraud by an Inquiry panel or Tribunal which has been effectively set up under the Tribunals of Inquiry Act or Tribunals of Inquiry Law.)


Section 137 (1)(j)

he has presented a forged certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission.

(If such person has presented a forged certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission – INEC.)


Section 137 (2)(a-d)

Where in respect of any person who has been –

adjudged to be a lunatic;
declared to be of unsound mind;
sentenced to death or imprisonment; or
adjudged or declared bankrupt

(In situations where a person has been declared crazy, of unsound mind, sentenced to death or imprisonment or declared to be bankrupt… )


Section 137 (2)(e)

any appeal against the decision is pending in any court of law in accordance with any law in force in Nigeria, subsection (1) of this section shall not apply during a period beginning from the date when such appeal is lodged and ending on the date when the appeal is finally determined or, as the case may be, the appeal lapses or is abandoned, whichever is earlier.

(In situations where any of the things mentioned in section 137 (2)(a-d) occurs and an appeal has been made and is pending before any Court of law in Nigeria then section 137 sub section (1) shall not apply during the period when the appeal was made till the day the Appeal is determined or the appeal is abandoned or lapses whichever one comes first.)


Section 138

The President shall not, during his tenure of office, hold any other executive office or paid employment in
any capacity whatsoever.

(A person holding the office of the President of Nigeria shall not hold any other paid employed position or executive office during his/her tenure as President.)


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