Emefiele withdraws lawsuit against INEC, AGF over presidential ambition

Emefiele withdraws lawsuit against INEC, AGF over presidential ambition

Godwin Emefiele, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, has dropped his lawsuit against the Independent National Electoral Commission; and the Attorney-General of the Federation over his presidential bid.

On Monday, May 23, Emefiele informed Justice Ahmed Mohammed; through his counsel, Sylvanus Maliki, that a notice of discontinuance had been filed and served on the defendants in the case.

Despite the fact that the matter was set for a hearing; Maliki, who represented Chief Mike Ozekhome, SAN, said they got Emefiele’s direction to withdraw the action.

He asked the court to dismiss the case and issue an order striking it out since the parties in the lawsuits had not joined the issues; citing Order 50 of the court’s regulations.

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Although John Aikpokpo-Martins, counsel for the fourth defendant, disputed Emefiele’s intention to withdraw the claim; he urged the court to dismiss it with a N1.5 million cost.

Justice Mohammed ruled that Emefiele has the legal authority to file the withdrawal notification. He ruled that the notice of discontinuance was genuine and that it should be dismissed.

On May 9, the CBN governor filed a lawsuit in Abuja’s Federal High Court. This was against INEC, the AGF, and three others; requesting that his right to run for president in 2023 without retiring from his current job be upheld.

Mr Emefiele told the court that, under the Constitution, he could run for President without resigning as governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria.

He told the court that because he is a public servant and not a political appointee, Section 84(12) of the Electoral Act; as amended in 2022 did not apply to him.

The CBN governor’s counsel, Ozekhome, said his client was in a quandary over whether he could run; and when he had to leave office in an ex parte motion was filed due to the urgency of the case.

He claimed that a Federal High Court in Umuahia had overturned the part of the Electoral Act; and that the case was still being appealed at the time.

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