Unconfirmed sources yesterday disclosed that Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, sacked the Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele. However, the Central Bank’s head of corporate communications, Mr. Osita Nwanisiobi, quashed the rumors, stating that he was unaware of such developments.
Godwin Emefiele’s predecessor as CBN boss, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, was sacked during his tenure by then President, Dr Ebele Goodluck Jonathan. To understand the terms under which President Buhari can end the CBN Governor’s appointment, we look at the Central Bank of Nigeria ACT, 2007.
What the constitution says
- Section 11 of the Act, 2007 states that the CBN Governor, Deputy Governor or Director of the Bank shall be removed from office if he is a serving lawmaker (federal or state) or if he is a Director, or Officer or Employee of a bank. The Act does not specify the appropriate action for a serving CBN Governor contesting for an elective office.
- The CBN Act also states that the CBN Governor should be replaced if he is mentally ill or unable to physically carry out his duties or found guilty of a criminal offense.
- The CBN Governor should be replaced if he is guilty of professional misconduct relating to his duties. He can also be disqualified and suspended from practicing in the country.
- The President of Nigeria can sack the CBN Governor with the backing of two-thirds of the majority in the Senate.
What you should know
- The Nigerian public heavily criticized the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, for declaring interest to run for the position of the President in the forthcoming 2023 elections. The premise of the criticism being that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) stores election sensitive material at the CBN’s headquarters in Abuja.
- The CBN Governor then sought a court ruling to prevent CBN’s Board of Directors, the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), and INEC from disqualifying him in the presidential race.
- The judge, Mr. Ahmed Mohammed, instead ordered INEC and the AGF to show evidence of why the Governor couldn’t contest. The suit ended with the CBN’s Governor lawyer filing for discontinuance and Mr. Mohammed striking out the suit.
- CBN this week raised the interest rate from 11.5% to 13%, for the first time since July 2016.
- Since the CBN Governor resumed office, in June 2014, Nigeria’s currency in relation to the US dollar has depreciated by about 270%.