… As Osinbajo says Why I’m consulting with people — Osinbajo***
Godwin Emefiele, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has sought an order of a Federal High Court in Abuja restraining the Federal Government from removing him from office over his presidential ambition.
Emefiele, through his counsel, Chief Mike Ozekhome, SAN, on Monday sought the order pending the hearing and determination of the substantive matter.
He also prayed to Justice Ahmed Mohammed to stop the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from taking any action against him in the bid to contest in the presidential primary by virtue of his office.
The CBN governor made the prayers in an ex-parte motion dated and filed on May 9 by Ozekhome, seeking an order of maintenance of status quo ante Bellum pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit.
The newsmen report that while INEC is the 1st defendant, the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) is the 2nd defendant in the suit.
Moving the motion, Ozekhome said though his client had not told him under which political party he would love to contest, the application became necessary in order for the court to determine the constitutionality of his (Emefiele’s) decision.
“The plaintiff is a current governor of CBN.
He desires to run for the office of president of Nigeria in the election coming up in 2023.
“But he is in a dilemma whether he can run.
Can he run? If he can run, when must he leave office as CBN governor?
“We want the interpretation of the law as it is today,” he said.
He argued that Emefiele, by virtue of Section 318 of the 1999 Constitution, is a public servant.
He said that only political appointees are caught with Section 84(12) of the Electoral Act, 2022, which he said had been struck down by a Federal High Court sitting in Umuahia in Abia.
According to him, the matter is currently on appeal and the Court of Appeal has not come up with a decision.
“Even if the Court of Appeal upturn that judgment, is the plaintiff a political appointee? Our answer is no,” he said.
He argued further that Emefiele is only bound by Section 137 which says that a public officer shall resign from office not later than 30 days before election.
“This is the constitution and we seek constitutional interpretation of this matter,” he said.
But in his ruling, Justice Mohammed did not grant the motion.
Rather, he adjourned the matter until May 12 for ruling.
The judge made an order directing the INEC and AGF to appear on Thursday by noon why Emefiele’s prayers should not be granted.
He ordered that all the applications, including the ex-parte, filed in the course of the matter be served on all the defendants.
He also directed that hearing notices be issued to the defendants to appear on the said date to show cause why the prayers should not be granted.
In the meantime, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo says consultations with the people is critical in governance and important for national development, especially in a country as diverse and complex as Nigeria.
Osinbajo’s spokesman, Laolu Akande, in a statement on Monday, said the vice president had dinner with speakers and deputy speakers of a number of State Houses of Assembly on Sunday at his official residence in the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
According to the vice-president, government by partnership is very important.
“That is the kind of relationship that I think makes governance easier.
” The only way to make a complex country like this work is by consultations; there is no other way,” he said.
The vice-president said that he would apply the partnership model in governance if he was nominated by the All Progressives Congress (APC) as its presidential flagbearer and elected as president.
He restated the value of his experience to lead the country as president in 2023
“In terms of training on the job, I think I am quite well trained.
“So, I believe very strongly that, although there are other contestants who are also very capable and competent, I believe that just in terms of readiness, I think that if there is anyone who is prepared for that, I am certain that person.
“So, if by the grace of God, I am nominated by the party and the electorate, I think that God helping us, we will be able to do much in office.
“And one of the very important things for me is what I would describe as a partnership,” he said.
Osinbajo recalled his tour of the Niger Delta in 2017 on behalf of the president, which birthed the administration’s Niger Delta New Vision and restored peace and stability, among other significant development gains in the region.
He said people wanted to be engaged; spoken to and carried along.
“That engagement taught me something very crucial, the most important thing of all in this country, is for us to be able to sit down and talk on any issue.
“People want to be able to express their views, and they want to be heard/helped, and we must create the time to hear them to understand their views.
“Whatever policy that is, engagement is always the best approach, I think that has succeeded in so many instances. I am confident that the partnership model is one that will always work,” he said.
The vice president also highlighted the partnership between the presidency and the 36 state governors in spite of party differences.
He said such a relationship led to President Muhammadu Buhari approving bailout to states to pay workers’ salaries, budget support facilities, and Paris Debt refunds among other packages from the Federal Government in the past years.
Osinbajo said that the partnership had also helped in the cordial working relationships with all the state governors under the auspices of the National Economic Council (NEC) which the vice president chairs.
In their remarks, the speakers and deputy speakers commended the vice president for his efforts in the general development of the country, while many of them endorsed his aspiration to become president in 2023.
Pledging his support for the vice president, Speaker of the Niger State House of Assembly, Abdullahi Wuse, said that the vice president had the best of the capacity to led as from 2023.
“Few people have the intellectual capacity, the capabilities that you are exhibiting as the vice president of this country.
“We look forward to a situation where you will be the President; I believe that you will do more if given the opportunity to be president of this country,” he said.
On his part, Ogun State House of Assembly Speaker, Olakunle Oluomo, said that Nigerians everywhere appreciated the vice president who had shown total capacity in leadership.
According to him, the country will experience transformation if Osinbajo is elected president in 2023.
“His coming will accelerate a lot of development in this country; also he will hit the ground running,” he said.
More so, Katsina State House of Assembly Speaker, Tasiu Musa-Maigari, commended the vice president’s good qualities of leadership– honesty, hard work and loyalty.
He said Osinbajo would make a very good president.
In his own remarks, the Nasarawa State House of Assembly Speaker, Ibrahim Abdullahi, said that Osinbajo had the requisite experience to lead the country.
“We appreciate your capacity and intelligence. And we are thankful that we have somebody like Osinbajo in this country.”
“We don’t need to be reminded that even the president trusts you so much, and trusts your capacity.
“You love this country, and we are sure by the time the vice president takes over from President Buhari, you will start where he ends.
“By the special grace of God, the vice president will take over the ticket of the APC.
“We are going to line up behind you; If truly, we want this country to prosper, this is the time to rally round the vice president.
“It is not about religion; it is about capacity; we are sure of your capacity and we are sure you are going to take us to the next level,” he said.