The Federal High Court in Abuja has declined the request of the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, to restrain the Independent National Electoral Commission and the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, from preventing him from pursuing his presidential ambition.
Emefiele on Monday, through his lawyer, Mike Ozekhome (SAN), told the court in Abuja that he can run for the post of the President without vacating his position as the CBN governor.
Ozekhome told the court that Section 84 ((12) of the Electoral Act as amended, 2022 does not affect Emefiele, being a public servant and not a political appointee.
The court in its ruling, however, summonsed INEC, and AGF to appear before it on May 12, to show cause on why status quo antebellum, should not be granted to the CBN Governor.
The CBN governor had headed to the court in Abuja to seek a constitutional interpretation on his non-resignation while pursuing his political interests.
Three interest groups – the Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria, Friends of Emefiele and Emefiele Support Group – last week allegedly paid N100m for the APC presidential expression of interest and nominations forms for Emefiele.
But the CBN governor, in a tweet on Saturday, said he was still waiting for God’s direction, adding that he would purchase the N100m forms himself if he entered the presidential race.
The hostilities concerning Emefiele’s aspirations were mostly found on some citizens’ opinions on the effect of Section 9 of the CBN Act, 2007 which states: “The Governor and the Deputy Governors shall devote the whole of their time to the service of the bank and while holding office shall not engage in any full or part-time employment or vocation whether remunerated or not except such personal or charitable causes as may be determined by the Board and which do not conflict with or detract from their full-time duties…”
Sixty-year-old Emefiele was appointed the CBN governor in 2014 and has since remained at the apex bank.