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2023 Presidency: Court Joins PDP, Others In Emefiele’s Suit Against INEC, AGF

Justice Ahmed Mohammed of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja on Thursday joined the Peoples Democratic Party as 3rd Defendant, in a suit filed by the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele against the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, and the Independent National Electoral Commission.

The other defendants joined in the suit were John Aikpokpo-Martins, Olukunle Edun, who filed for themselves and on behalf of members of Save Nigeria, Our Fatherland.

Also, the court ordered an accelerated hearing of the suit and directed parties to ensure they file and serve necessary processes within the abridged time.

The two defendants, who are 4th and 5th Defendants respectively said they sought to join in the suit on behalf of “all well-meaning and democracy-loving Nigerians, except those who may be opposed it”.

The Applicants who are legal practitioners and also the 1st Vice President, and National Welfare Secretary respectively of the Nigerian Bar Association told the court that they are alongside the Plaintiff
bound by the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and have a duty to ensure its observance.

“The suit of the Plaintiff raised constitutional questions and the determination of same would radically affect the rights of the Applicants and all whom they represent.

“The Applicants have the right to be governed and to ensure respect and obedience to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“The Plaintiff has no locus standi to file this suit considering the provisions of the extant Central Bank of Nigeria Act and other enabling Acts and the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

PDP’s joinder application was moved by Sebastine Hon SAN, while Opeseyi George SAN, representing the AGF, vehemently opposed the application.

But Emefiele’s counsel, Chief Mike Ozekhome SAN said he purposely did not object to the joinder application because it was like a poisoned chalice, aimed at frustrating the case.

Ozekhome said the purpose for which the suit was filed would take place between May 28 and June 1, insisting that the matter be heard expeditiously in order not to foist a fait accompli on the Plaintiff.
The INEC did oppose the joinder application and the application to abridge time.

The matter has been adjourned to May 23 for a definite hearing, with the Judge warning against filing of frivolous applications.

Meanwhile, in the originating summon marked FHC/ABJ/CS/610/2022, the CBN Governor wants,
“A declaration that the provisions of secticn 84(12) of the Electoral Act, 2022 (as amended), which are inconsistent with the provisions of section 137(1)(g) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as altered), which and have been declared so by a court of competent jurisdiction cannot be relied upon by the Defendants to disqualify the plaintiff from contesting an election to the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria or from contesting or participating in the parties’ primaries, or other convention or congress for election to the office of President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, scheduled for 25th February, 2023.

“A declaration that by the provisions of section 84(3) of the Electoral Act, 2022, a political party cannot by its constitution, guidelines or rules impose any criteria, measures or conditions, nomination, qualification or disqualification criteria, for any aspirant or candidate including the plaintiff herein in its primaries during its convention or congress for nomination of its candidates for election besides those criteria as prescribed under sections 65, 66, 106, 107, 131, 137, 177 and 187 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).

“A declaration that by the combined provisions of section 84(3) of the Electoral Act, 2022, and section 137(g) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, (as amended) which require a public officer to resign, withdraw or retire from his employment at least 30 days before the presidential election, the Plaintiff cannot be mandated and/or compelled to resign his position as the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria earlier than thirty (30) days to the presidential election or the primaries at congresses and conventions of the political parties which presidential election is scheduled to take place on 25 February, 2023; while the primaries are fixed for the 30th May and 1st June, 2022.

More so, the Plaintiff wants a declaration that the Plaintiff can only be governed by or subject to the provisions of section 137(1) (g) and 318 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as altered), which require a public officer seeking election into a political office to resign, withdraw or retire from his appointment at least 30 days to the presidential election, rather than by the provisions of section 84(12) of the Electoral Act, 2022 or the guidelines, rules, criteria, measures or conditions made by the plaintiff’s political party or any political party.

“A declaration that the Plaintiff can validly participate in the primary election of a political party and is entitled to vote and be voted for as candidate of any political party of his choice for the purpose of the nomination of candidates for the election to the office of President or any other office under the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended).

Emefiele is also praying for an order that he cannot be hindered, stopped or precluded from participating, voting or being voted for at the congress or convention of any political party of his choice for the purpose of the nomination of candicates for the election to the office of President or any other office under the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended).

“An order of perpetual injunction restraining the Defendants whether by themselves, their agents, servants or privies or any legal representative from hindering, stopping or precluding the Plaintiff from participating, voting or being voted for at the congress or convention of any political party of his choice for the purpose of the nomination of candidates for the election to the office of the President or any other office under the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended).

https://independent.ng/2003-presidency-court-joins-pdp-others-in-emefieles-suit-against-inec-agf/?utm_source=&utm_medium=twitter

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Written by emmanuel Charles

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