Justice A. R. Mohammed of the Federal High Court in Abuja has asked the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami, to show cause on why the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Godwin Emefiele should not be allowed to contest the presidential election slated for next year.
This is contrary to a trending and misleading report that a Federal High Court has refused Emefiele’s request to restrain the INEC and the AGF from his presidential ambition. Justice Mohammed has only summoned INEC and AGF to appear in court on May 12, to show cause on why status quo antebellum, should not be granted to the CBN Governor.
The case, instituted to seek clarification about Section 84 (12) of the Electoral Act as amended, 2022, which according to the Counsel to the CBN Governor, Mike Ozekhome, does not affect him, being a public servant and not a political appointee, and thus, he could run for the post of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria without vacating his position as the CBN Governor.
Specifically, the Judge has summoned INEC & AGF to show up in the court on May 12 to explain why Emefiele should not be allowed to run. Emefiele, through the suit, sought seven reliefs from the court, one of which was to declare him qualified to contest for the presidential post.
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).
Having heard the Plaintiff, the court directed the Defendants, including INEC and AGF, to come to court on Thursday, 12th May, 2022, to show why the order for maintenance of status quo ante bellum should not be granted. The Court also ordered the Plaintiff to deliver all processes to the Defendants, including a hearing notice.