By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
ABUJA—BARELY 24 hours after President Muhammadu Buhari asked all political appointees that have ambitions to vie for any position in the 2023 general elections to resign on or before Monday, May 16, 2022, the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, yesterday met with the President at the State House, Abuja
Recall that the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige had on Wednesday, told Vanguard that the President while giving the order to cabinet members that have any ambition to contest election to resign, also said that anyone that needs any clarification should meet him.
According to him, “There is no news now, but there will be news. You heard me, I said there is no news but there will be news.”
When further told that international community as well as Nigerians are interested in his position as regards the presidential directive, the CBN Governor said he was not bothered by their concern and that he was having fun while those concerned are free to have heart attack.
He said, “Let them have heart attack, its good to have heart attack. I am having a lot of fun.”
Emefiele had on Monday approached Federal High Court sitting in Abuja for an Order restraining the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and Attorney-General of the Federation from preventing or hindering his participating in the process of the presidential election slated for February next year.
Specifically, he argued that by virtue of being a public servant he cannot be barred from participating in the political primaries of political parties by Section 84 (12) of the Electoral Act, 2022.
He submitted that Constitutional provisions stipulated that he can only resign his appointment as Governor of CBN 30 days to the presidential election which he is interested in contesting.
Among the court processes he filed before the court was an application for maintenance of status, which he predicated on the fact that he would be prejudiced against or hurt if the court does not restrain the defendants from taking any step that would jeopardize his desire to contest the presidential election.
Arguing the motion for maintenance of status quo, Emefiele’s lawyer, Chief Mike Ozekhome, SAN, told the court that Emefiele “is in a delimma” as to whether he can run in the forthcoming presidential election.
The Federal Government had on Wednesday through the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, Boss Mustapha, issued a circular directing serving ministers in the cabinet, heads of government agencies, ambassadors and other political appointees of the administration, coveting political ambitions in 2023 to resign from the government.
The circular was dated May 11, 2022 with Ref. No.SGF/OP/l/S.3/Xll/173.
The circular was addressed to all serving ministers, Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, National Security Adviser, Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission, Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria, Chairman, Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission, Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Chairman, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, Chairman, Federal Inland Revenue Service and heads of extra-ministerial departments, Directors-General/Chief Executive Officers of parastatals, agencies and government-owned companies among others.
In the circular, Mustapha said President Muhammadu Buhari had observed and noted the expression of interest and intention by some members of the Federal Executive Council, Heads of Extra-Ministerial departments, agencies, parastatals of government, ambassadors and other political office holders to contest the upcoming Presidential, Gubernatorial, National and State Assemblies’ elections.
He said the President had directed that the affected office holders aspiring to run for various offices in the 2023 General Elections, should tender their resignation on or before Monday, May 16, 2022.