A Federal High Court in Abuja has rejected a request by the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, to run for the 2023 presidential election without resigning from his position.
Godwin Emefiele For President
The CBN governor had approached the court on Monday through his counsel, Mike Ozekhome, urging the court to restrain the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), and the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami, from preventing his Presidential Ambition.
Emefiele asked the court for an order of status quo Ante Bellum to be made against INEC and the AGF to enable him to not resign from office until 30 days to the general election.
The CBN Governor, who denied being a political appointee, 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.
He argued 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.
Emefiele expressed apprehension that sale and submission of the presidential nomination form would expire on Wednesday and that unless the INEC and AGF are ordered to maintain status ante bellum as at May 5 when he filed the suit, he would be made to vacate office before his form would be accepted by the appropriate authority.
The CBN governor asked the court to invoke section 318 of the 1999 Constitution to bar the defendants from asking him to vacate office until 30 days before the February 2023 Presidential election.
However, in a brief ruling, Justice Ahmed Ramat Mohammed turned down the request for the order and ordered him to put the defendants on notice and also serve court processes on the defendants.
Justice Mohammed also ordered the defendants to appear before him on May 12 and show cause on why the request should not be granted.
This comes a few days after Godwin Emefiele denied reports that he joined the presidential race, saying that this is a serious decision that requires the direction of God.