Journalism of Courage

Update: 2023 Presidency: Emefiele loses bid to restrain INEC, AGF on his presidential bid

Speaking in court, his lawyer, Ozekhome (SAN) moved that in view of the urgency of the case, the court should direct all relevant authorities to maintain status quo pending the determination of the suit.

 

By Ajuma Edwina Ameh

Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, has lost his bid to restrain the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, from restricting him from running for President.

Emefiele had on Monday, in a legal action instituted through his team of lawyers led by Chief Mike Ozekhome, SAN, filed a suit against the INEC and the AGF, alleging an attempt by the duo to disqualify him from the 2023 presidential election.

He prayed the court to declare that he can “validly participate in the primary election of any 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 Predsident or any other office under the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended”.

The CBN governor informed the court that he can “run for President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria without resigning from his job as CBN Governor”, adding that because he is a civil servant and not a political appointee, Section 84(12) of the Electoral Act as amended, 2022, does not apply to him.

Speaking in court, his lawyer, Ozekhome (SAN) moved that in view of the urgency of the case, the court should direct all relevant authorities to maintain status quo pending the determination of the suit.

“By Wednesday, 11 May, 2022, the timeline for collecting the form for expression of interest will expire.

“The timeline for the congresses and conventions of the political parties for the presidential election, which he is interested in, comes up on the 30 May.

“The motion is seeking that the court should grant an order for maintenance of status quo. Let my lord not allow anybody to do anything,” Ozekhome said.

However, In his ruling, Justice Ahmed Mohammed, declined to order the maintenance of status quo as prayed by Emefiele’s lawyer.

Mohammed ordered that INEC and the AGF be put on notice of the motion for them to respond by showing cause why the prayers sought by the plaintiff should not be granted.

“Having listened to the learned senior advocate and having read the affidavit in support, an order is hereby made directing the defendants to appear on 12 May (12pm) and show cause why the motion ex-parte seeking maintenance of status quo should not be granted by this court.

“An order is made to serve the court processes on the defendants,” the judge ruled.

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