SAN Michael Aondoakaa: Why Someone With A Criminal Record Can Still Run For Office in Nigeria

Michael Aondoakaa, a former attorney general of Nigeria, has spoken on the present debate, on whether or not, a candidate for president can have a criminal record.

During an interview on Tuesday’s episode of ARISE TV “The Morning Show,” Michael Aondoakaa, who previously held the position of Minister of Justice, from 2007 to 2010, claimed that, the Constitution specifies the conditions, under which an ex-convict may run for office in the nation. However, he asserts that, when ten years have passed after the date of their release from jail, the law permits a convicted felon to run for office.

He asserted that, regardless of where you are found guilty, including a Nigerian court, “the criminality specified in the Constitution, relates with the crime which involves dishonesty, and also relates to a conviction of over ten years.”

You cannot become president after serving time in prison, so the ten-year grace period does not apply if you are already incarcerated. For 10 years following a conviction, you are not permitted to run for office in Nigeria; but, after that period has expired, you are permitted to do so for any position.

The reason for this is that, at this moment, the requirements for seeking the office of president or any other position, cannot be altered. Additionally, you cannot modify the qualifications for eligibility, and disqualification outlined in the Nigerian Constitution. It’s required by law.

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