Factual Pursuit of Truth for Progress
The Abuja Division of Federal High Court on Monday rejected a request seeking an expedited decision on whether or not Godwin Emefiele can run for president without resigning his current position as the governor of Nigeria’s central bank.
Emefiele approached the court on Monday through his counsel Mike Ozekhome, arguing that he will suffer “irreparable damage” unless immediately granted a leave to engage in partisan politics while in office as the head of the country’s financial sector regulator.
The matter was adjourned till May 12 for the electoral office INEC and Attorney-General Abubakar Malami to file their respective responses to Mr Emefiele.
Recall that some groups purchased the expression of interest and nomination forms of the ruling All Progressives Congress ((APC) for Emefiele.
This had triggered outrage as many called on the CBN governor to step down.
Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State, who described Emefiele’s interest in the 2023 Presidency as “a joke taken too far”, had asked President Muhammadu Buhari to fire him if he refused to step down.
Some lawyers had argued that Emefiele was unfit to run going by Section 84 (12) of the Electoral Act.
The section states that no political appointee at any level shall be a voting delegate or be voted for at the Convention or Congress of any political party for the purpose of the nomination of candidates for any election.
But Emefiele, through his lawyer, Ozekhome, argued that he is not a political appointee and by provision of the constitution, he is expected to resign a month before the February 25, 2023, presidential election.
“It is our respectful submission that the plaintiff is not a political appointee as envisaged by the Electoral Act and as he seeks to contest for the Office of the President in the new electoral calendar, he shall only be governed or guided by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, (1999), as amended, which requires that he gives at least thirty (30) days’ notice of resignation, withdrawal or retirement from the office of the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria before any elections,” a court document read.
He also contended that a Federal High Court in Umuahia, Abia State, had nullified section 12 (8) of the Electoral Act.