President Muhammadu Buhari, according to a source, directed Governor Godwin Emefiele of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to withdraw the suit he filed against the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) over his presidential ambition.
Emefiele had approached a Federal High Court in Abuja for an order restraining the defendants from preventing or hindering his participation in the process of the presidential election slated for February next year.
In the suit, the CBN chief expressed the fear that any political party he chooses to affiliate with to realise his political ambition may disqualify him based on the provisions of Section 84 (12) of the Electoral Act, 2022, which barred political appointees from participating in the congresses and conventions of political parties unless he resigned 30 days to such conventions and congresses.
He argued that by being a public servant, he could not be barred from participating in the political primaries of the All Progressives Congress by Section 84 (12) of the Electoral Act, 2022.
He had submitted that constitutional provisions stipulated that he can only resign his appointment as Governor of CBN 30 days to the presidential election he is interested in contesting.
Revealing why Emefiele withdrew the suit, the source said he was able to secure an agreement with Buhari, who asked him to continue his job and bury his presidential ambition for now.
The source stated: “Emefiele instructed his lawyers to discontinue the matter, and the lawyer complied. He had briefed his lawyers to handle the matter, and a lawyer acted on the instruction of his client.
“The lawyers have withdrawn the case, I think based on his agreement with President Muhammadu Buhari to better stay back as Governor of CBN instead of going for the Presidency, I think that’s why.
“When they discontinued it, the party that wanted to join, one Martin Aikpokpo, asked for a dismissal of the case and N1 million cost, which the court rejected.
“Justice Ahmed Mohammed rejected the request; the AGF asked for N1 million cost, which the court also rejected. So what the court did was merely strike out the suit without any order as to cost.”