May 12, (THEWILL) – Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele, on Thursday, met with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa Abuja.
Although the meeting was held behind closed doors, Emefiele failed to disclose his mission in the Villa, neither did he make any official statement on his meeting with the President.
He, however, told State House Correspondents that he has no news for them now, but promised that there will be news very soon.
Probed further on his unannounced visit to the Presidential Villa, the CBN boss retorted: “You heard me, I said there is no news, but there will be news.”
Reminded that Nigerians and the international community are anxious about his position, Emefiele countered that they should worry themselves for nothing, as he is having fun.
When reminded that the international community was anxious about his planned involvement in politics, he responded that he is “having fun.”
“Let them have a heart attack. its good to have a heart attack. I am having a lot of fun”, the governor of Nigeria’s apex bank said.
Although there has been no official statement on his visit to the Presidential Villa, it was not immediately clear if the visit is part of the regular visit he makes to the villa.
The visit to the president came amidst calls for him to resign his position over reports that he plans to contest for president in the 2023 election.
The visit may also not be unconnected with his recent involvement in politicking, which saw his name being mentioned among the Presidential aspirants in the forthcoming All Progressives Congress (APC) primary election.
It was also not clear if he has sent in his resignation letter in compliance with the President Buhari’s directives to all government appointees running for political offices to resign and pursue their ambitions.
President Buhari had on Wednesday, issued the directive to the affected appointees after the Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja set aside the judgement of the Federal High Court, Umuahia, which earlier voided the provision of Section 84 (12) of the Electoral Act 2022.
This section stipulates that, “No political appointees at any level shall be a voting delegate or be voted for at the Convention or Congress of any political party for the purpose of the nomination of candidates for any election.”
Emefiele, who is yet to resign amid the ballyhoo about his continued stay in office in spite of his rumoured presidential aspiration, said he was enjoying the controversy.
Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and two others, on Thursday, applied to be joined in the suit filed by the CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele, seeking to enforce his right to participate in the 2023 presidential election without resigning.
The court had on Monday, adjourned to Thursday, to enable the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), appear before it to show why the court should not restrain them from preventing the CBN Governor from realising his political ambition by participating in all the processes leading to the 2023 presidential election.
The summoning of INEC and AGF was sequel to a motion ex-parte argued by Emefiele’s lawyer, Mike Ozekhome, to restrain the two defendants from taking any step that would jeopardise the interest of his client.
Ruling in the ex parte, Justice Mohammed had ordered the CBN Governor to serve all court processes in relation to the suit he filed against INEC and the AGF, who are 1st and 2nd defendants respectively.
At the hearing of the matter on Thursday, both INEC and AGF were in court in line with the court’s order.
Before proceeding with the case of the CBN Governor, two lawyers stood up to announce appearances for their clients.
First was a Senior advocate of Nigeria, Sebastiane Hon, who informed the court of the intention of his client, the PDP to join as an interested party, which was immediately followed by one John Martins and Olukunle Ebun, who also announced appearances, suing for themselves and on behalf of the “Save Nigeria our Fatherland.”
Responding, Emefiele’s lawyer, who did not oppose the applicants joining the suit, undertook to serve the applicants with all processes within 24 hours.
While IINEC through its lawyer, Ibrahim Inuwa, did not also oppose the application for joinder, that of the AGF, Dipo Okpeseyi, did and urged the court to ensure that only proper parties should be allowed to join in the matter.
In a short ruling, the court joined the PDP, John Martins and Olukunle Ebun as 3rd, 4th and 5th defendants respectively.
Justice Mohammed in addition, ordered accelerated hearing in the matter, adding that while the 1st and 2nd defendants were directed to respond to the plaintiff’s suit within Monday and Tuesday, the 3rd to 5th defendants have up till Wednesday next week to respond and the plaintiff, 24 hours to reply on point of law.
Justice Mohammed subsequently adjourned to May 23 for parties to adopt their final written addresses.
Justice Mohammed, while warning that the court will not entertain any request for extension of time since all parties have pledged to the accelerated hearing of the matter, also warned parties not to take any step that would undermine the proceedings.
Emefiele had, amongst others, approached the Federal High Court for an Order restraining the defendants from preventing or hindering his participation in the process of the presidential election slated for February next year.
He expressed the fear that any political party he chooses to affiliate with in realising his political ambition may disqualify him based on the provisions of Section 84 (12) of the Electoral Act, 2022, which had barred political appointees from participating in the congresses and conventions of political parties unless the resigned 30 days to such conventions and congresses.
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.
Amongst 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 jeopardise his desire to contest the presidential election.