By Emmanuel Nduka
A Federal High Court in Abuja has declined the request of the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele to restrain the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), and the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) Abubakar Malami preventing him from his Presidential ambition.
Heritage Times HT had earlier reported that Emefiele had dragged INEC and four others before the Court seeking enforcement of his right to contest the 2023 Presidential election without resigning from his current position.
The suit with No FHC/ABJ/CS/610/2022 was instituted on his behalf by Mike Ozekhome (SAN), and was heard by Justice Ahmed Ramat Mohammed at exactly 12 noon on Monday.
Emefiele told the Court that he can run for the post of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria without vacating his position as the CBN Governor.
The CBN Governor through his Counsel, told the court that Section 84 (12) of the Electoral Act as amended, 2022 does not affect him, being a public servant and not a political appointee.
Subsequently, the court in its ruling, summoned 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.
Emefiele had asked the court to declare him qualified to contest for the presidential post.
The prayer was part of the seven reliefs the CBN boss sought in the suit.
The reliefs include: “A DECLARATION that the Plaintiff can only be governed by or subject to the provisions of section 137(1) (g) and 318 of the Constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as altered), which require a public officer seeking election into a political office to resign, withdraw or retire from his appointment at least 30 days to the presidential election, rather than by the provisions of section 84(12) of the Electoral Act, 2022 or the guidelines, rules, criteria, measures or conditions made by the plaintiffs political party or any political party,” read the court filing.
“A DECLARATION that the Plaintiff can validly participate in the primary election of a political party and is entitled to vote and be voted for as candidate of any political party of his choice for the purpose of the nomination of candidates for the election to the office of President or any other office under the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended).
“AN ORDER that the Plaintiff cannot be hindered, stopped or precluded from participating, voting or being voted for at the congress or convention of any political party of his choice for the purpose of the nomination of candidates for the election to the office of President or any other office under the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“AN ORDER OF PERPETUAL INJUNCTION restraining the defendants whether by themselves, their agents, servants or privies or any legal representative from hindering, stopping or precluding the Plaintiff from participating, voting or being voted for at the congress or convention of any political party of his choice for the purpose of the nomination of candidates for the election to the office of the president or any other office under the constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria (as amended).”
It would be recalled that Emefiele had refuted claims that he has purchased the APC presidential form to contest the 2023 general election, and is yet to officially declare his intention to run for President.