Godwin Emefiele, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has dragged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister to court over his 2023 presidential ambition.
Aside filing an originating summon against the two defendants, Emefiele’s counsel, Chief Mike Ozekhome SAN, filed a motion ex parte dated May 9, and filled same day.
Specifically, Ozekhome said the motion was for an order of court for maintenance of status quo ante bellum as at May 8.
Moving the motion exparte, Ozekhome said by Wednesday May 11, the timeline for the collection of expression of interest form for the presidential poll will expire.
“The timeline for the primaries, congresses or conventions of political parties for the presidential election which the applicant is interested in, comes up on the 30th of May and June 1.
“We are not asking for an injunction, but due to the urgency of the matter, the applicant needs the protection and canopy of justice to stop the matter from being rendered nuggatory and a fait accompli foisted on the applicant, if the court does not issue an order.
An affidavit of urgency in support of the motion exparte stated that the Plaintiff/Applicant is the current Governor of the CBN and “desires to contest election for the office of the President in 2023.
According to Ozekhome, “The applicant is in a dilemma as to whether to run for the 2023 presidential election or not, and therefore has come to court for interpretation of section 318 of the Constitution.
“Being a public servant, is the applicant a political appointee that is also cut in the web of section 84(12) of the Electoral Act?.
Besides, Ozekhome argued that the said section 84(12) of the Electoral Act has been struck down by Justice Evelyn Anyadike of the Federal High Court Umuahia.
“Though, the matter is on appeal” Emefiele’s counsel stated.
Ozekhome posited further that the Constitution, which is the grand norm of the land, permits a political appointee with an ambition to contest an election to do so at least 30 days to the election.
He therefore urged the court to order for the maintenance of status quo ante bellum, pending the determination of the motion on notice.
In a ruling, the trial judge, Justice Ahmed Mohammed, held that having read the affidavit in support of the motion exparte, he directed the defendants to come on May 12, to show cause why the applicant’s motion exparte should not be granted.
The court also ordered that processes should be served on the Defendants before the next adjourned date of May 12.