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Presidential ambition: Court refuses Emefiele’s request to restrain INEC, AGF

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AN application filed by Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Godwin Emefiele to restrain the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) from interfering with his presidential ambition has been refused by the Abuja Federal High Court.

Emefiele had, through his counsel, Mike Ozekhome applied for an order of status quo ante bellum to be made against INEC and AGF so that he would not be made to resign from office until 30 days to the general election.


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In an ex-parte application argued on Monday, Emefiele denied being a political appointee, arguing that he is a public servant that is not bound by the provisions of Section 84 (12) of the Electoral Act 2022.

The CBN governor asked the court to invoke Section 318 of the 1999 Constitution to bar INEC and the Office of the AGF from asking him to vacate office until 30 days to the February 2023 presidential election.

Emefiele expressed apprehension that the sale and submission of the presidential election forms would expire on Wednesday and that unless the INEC and AGF are ordered to maintain status ante bellum as of May 5 when he filed the suit, he would be made to vacate office before his form would be accepted by the appropriate authority.

However, in a brief ruling, Justice Ahmed Ramat Mohammed turned down the application.

Instead, the judge ordered Emefiele to put the defendants on notice and also serve them with the court processes.

Mohammed ordered the defendants to appear before him on May 12 and show cause on why the request should not be granted.

The ICIR had reported that the CBN governor had gone to court to seek constitutional clarification as to whether or not he could remain in office while running for president.

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Last week, a group purchased the APC presidential forms for Emefiele.

The CBN governor later disassociated himself from the group, saying he will buy the forms with his own money when he decides to contest the election.

He also said he will take a decision on the presidential race in the next few days.

Emefiele’s alleged presidential bid has been condemned by many Nigerians, who are demanding his resignation.

Ondo State governor Rotimi Akeredolu, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), said President Muhammadu Buhari should remove Emefiele from the position of CBN governor if he refuses to resign.

There are concerns that Emefiele’s interest in the election may clash with Section 9 of the CBN Act, 2007, which stated: “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.”

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