2023 PRESIDENCY: Court Gives Verdict On Emefiele’s Eligibility To Contest Election

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2023 PRESIDENCY: Court Gives Verdict On Emefiele’s Eligibility To Contest Election

A Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday refused to grant the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefele’s request to restrain the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) Abubarka Malami, from preventing him from pursuing his presidential ambition while overseeing the affairs of the apex bank.

Emefiele had in a suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/610/2022 and filed on May 5 asked the court to declare him eligible to participate in the 2023 presidential election.

Emefiele through Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), in a suit had prayed the court to declare him eligible to contest in the APC presidential primary election without having to resign from his present position.

The CBN Governor is the sole plaintiff in the suit, with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Attorney-General of the Federation as respondents.

He also prayed the court to determine whether Section 84(12) of the Electoral Act 2022 is not inconsistent with Section 137 (1)(G) of the 1999 Constitution.

The CBN governor had two days before he said he was yet to decide to run for the office of the president filed the suit.

Three support groups purportedly bought him the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential nomination form worth N100 million.

Part of the grounds of the application reads: “That the plaintiff has aspiration to seek election to the Office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and participate as a candidate in the upcoming 2023 elections.

“That section 84(12) of the Electoral Act, 2022 provides 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’.

“That the plaintiff verily believes that he is not affected by these provisions, as he is not a political appointee as envisaged by the above provisions of section 84(12) of the Electoral Act, 2022.

“That the Central Bank of Nigeria is entirely (100 per cent) owned by the Nigerian Federal Government, and therefore constitutes a government agency with the meaning and intendment of Section 318 of 1999 Constitution.”

Ruling on Monday, the court summonsed INEC leadership 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.

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