The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele has abruptly cancelled his meeting with executive members and top management staff members of the apex bank after he was summoned to the Presidential Villa in Abuja.
He will also likely join ministers and other political appointees seeking elective offices in 2023 in a farewell meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari.
SaharaReporters gathered that Emefiele had initially refused to attend the farewell meeting with Buhari.
The meeting follows the President’s recent directive to all ministers and political appointees contesting for various elective positions to resign from their appointments on or before Monday, May 16, 2022.
“Meeting was called off abruptly. The CBN governor was summoned to the Villa, so he immediately left.
“I think he was invited to join the farewell meeting by President Buhari because he initially refused to attend. He left the office already, heading to the Villa,” a CBN source told SaharaReporters.
“He called off the meeting abruptly; the meeting was about to start when he was summoned and left the office.”
Three support groups recently purchased the presidential nomination and expression of interest forms of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for him.
The CBN governor had, however, said he would purchase the form himself if he decides to contest.
On Wednesday, President Muhammadu Buhari, in a memo addressed to heads of agencies and parastatals, including the CBN directed all appointees interested in contesting in the general election, to resign.
SaharaReporters earlier reported that Justice DC Maidoh of a Delta State High Court, Kwale Division had granted an order restraining the Board of Central Bank of Nigeria and Independent National Electoral Commission from stopping the CBN governor, Emiefele, from seeking an elective post.
The application was filed on May 5, 2022, and the judgement was granted on Thursday, May 12, SaharaReporters learnt.
Armed with the court papers, Emefiele gleefully took them to President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday after which he stated that Nigerians would die of a heart attack.
Reacting to his controversial presidential ambition which had seen many groups and notable Nigerians call for his resignation to preserve the sanctity of the treasury and national economy on Thursday, Emefiele boasted that he was having fun and cared less about what people had to say.
He had met with State House Correspondents after a closed-door meeting with President Buhari at the Presidential Villa in Abuja on Thursday.
Reacting to a report that the President had asked him to resign after the purchase of the presidential nomination and expression of interest forms of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Emefiele had said, “There is no news now, but there will be news. You heard me, I said there is no news but there will be news.”
But when told that Nigerians were anxious about his position, he said: “Let them have a heart attack. It’s good to have a heart attack. I am having a lot of fun.”
SaharaReporters gathered that Emiefele had through a proxy, Augustine Eddiego approached the court asking, “An order restraining the defendants from treating the provision of section 9 of the Central Bank of Nigeria Act 2007 as amended as a bar on the Governor and Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria from seeking political offices pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice herein in this suit which borders on the interpretation and supremacy of the 1999 CFRN.”
Section 9 of the CBN Act provides that “the Governor and the Deputy Governors shall devote the whole of their time to the service of the Bank and while holding office shall not engage in any full or part-time employment or vocation whether remunerated or not, except such personal or charitable causes as may be determined by the Board and which do not conflict with or detract from their full-time duties.”
Justice Maidoh in a judgement secretly delivered on May 5 granted the order and adjourned the case to May 25.
“In the circumstances, in line with order 39 rule 3 of our rules, this motion is hereby granted. The motion on notice is accordingly adjourned to 25/5/2022 for hearing,” the judge said.
“The applicant is to enter an undertaking if the order sought ought not to have been made.”
Court documents obtained by SaharaReporters say, “The court upon reading through the Motion papers and hearing C.N. Ofiah Esq. for the claimants/applicants ordered as follows: I have read the processes in this suit, the applicant has complied with order 39 of our rules.
“Applicants also deposed to an affidavit of urgency. From the processes before this court, I find that the said application at this stage has merit pending the hearing and determination of the Motion on Notice. In the circumstances, in line with order 39 rule 3 of our rules, this motion is hereby granted. The motion on notice is accordingly adjourned to 25/5/2022 for hearing. The applicant is to enter undertaking if the order sought ought not to have been made.”