A Federal High Court in Abuja, Nigeria has on Monday rejected a suit by the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, to stop INEC and AGF from demanding his resignation of office if he is to contest for 2023 elections. 

Driving the news 
The court ruled that come May 12th both the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Attorney-General of the Federation should appear before it to defend why the CBN’s Governor isn’t allowed to contest for 2023 presidential elections. 

Current situation 

  • While the Governor of Nigeria’s apex bank, Godwin Emefiele, has not officially declared his interest for the 2023 presidential elections, several unconfirmed sources suggest otherwise. 
  • At the APC’s national convention in March, Godwin Emefiele’s campaign posters were visibly hanging at the venue. A video of cars branded with ‘Emefiele for President’ has also surfaced online. 
  • The CBN Governor is yet to confirm or debunk the claims of a 2023 ambition. 

Brief background to the story 
Emefiele’s lawyer, Mike Ozekhome (SAN), submitted an order of status quo ante bellum against both INEC and AGF, in order for the CBN governor not to resign from office until 30 days to the 2023 general election. This is as the Nigerian public criticized the unconfirmed intention of the CBN Governor. 

State of play
“Section 84 (12) of the Electoral Act states 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.” 

  • Emefiele’s lawyer in that respect argued that the CBN Governor is no political appointees and is therefore exempted from Section 84 (12) of the Electoral Act 2022. 
  • The lawyer also asked the court to invoke section 318 of the 1999 Constitution to bar INEC and AGF from demanding his resignation of office until 30days before the 2023 elections.
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