The presidential ambition of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Godwin Emefiele, suffered a major blow on Monday as the Federal High Court in Abuja declined to grant a restraining order he sought against the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, and the Attorney General of the Federation, AGF on his bid to contest the primary under the platform of the All Progressives Congress, APC.
Emefiele, who had earlier denied his presidential ambition on Monday, applied for an order of status quo ante bellum to be made against INEC and AGF so that he would not be required to resign from office until 30 days to the general election.
In an ex-parte application filed by his lawyer Mike Ozekhome SAN, Emefiele insisted he is not a political appointee but a public servant and his ambition is not offensive to Section 84 (12) of the new Electoral Act 2022.
The CBN governor asked the court to invoke Section 318 of the 1999 Constitution to bar the defendants from asking him to vacate office until 30 days to the February 2023 Presidential election.
Emefiele expressed apprehension that the sale and submission of the Presidential nomination form would expire on Wednesday and that unless the INEC and AGF are ordered to maintain status ante bellum as of May 5 when he filed the suit, he would be made to vacate office before his form would be accepted by the appropriate authority.
However, in a brief ruling, Justice Ahmed Ramat Mohammed turned down the request for the order.
Instead, the judge ordered him to put the defendants on notice and also serve court processes on the defendants.
Justice Mohammed ordered the defendants to appear before him on May 12 and show cause on why the request should not be granted.
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