…Incures N2.5m legal cost for withdrawal
As part of fulfilling his pledge to President Muhammadu Buhari that he would rather forego his presidential ambition and retain his job as CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), on Monday, withdrew the suit he filed against the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Attorney-General of the Federation over his presidential ambition.
Emefiele, through his counsel, S.T. Maliki, had told Justice Ahmed Mohammed that a notice of discontinuance had been filed and served on the defendants in the matter. The development occurred shortly after the matter was called.
Maliki, who held the brief of Chief Mike Ozekhome, SAN, said though the matter was scheduled for mention, they had Emefiele’s instruction to withdraw the suit.
“Pursuant to the instruction of the plaintiff (Emefiele), we filed a notice of discontinuance dated and filed May16, 2022.
“And the said notice of discontinuance was served on all the defendants on that said date of May 16, 2022, which proof of service is before your lordship,” Maliki said.
The lawyer said of all the defendants, only the 4th and 5th defendants filed a counter affidavit in response to the plaintiff’s amended originating summons, after the notice of withdrawal had been served on them.
He prayed the court to discontinue the suit and make an order striking it out, issues having not been joined by parties in the suits, citing Order 50 of the rules of this court.
Although lawyer to the 4th defendant, John Aikpokpo-Martins, opposed Emefiele’s intention to withdraw the suit, he urged the court to dismiss the suit with N1.5 million cost.
However, counsel for the 2nd and 3rd defendants, Chris Nevo and T. J. Adi, respectively, did not object to the withdrawal notice.
For Nevo, he asked the court to award a N1 million cost against Emefiele.
In his ruling, Justice Mohammed held that Emefiele had the right to file the notice of withdrawal.
He said the notice of discontinuance was valid and accordingly struck out.
The State Online reports that the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele, Thursday, May 12, met behind closed doors with President Muhammadu Buhari, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on wide range of political developments.
Though the agenda of the meeting was not yet public, close Aso Rock sources said it might not be unconnected with Mr. President’s immediate directive to Emefiele, and other political appointees seeking elective positions in the 2023 general elections to resign without delay.
Emefiele was said to have preferred rather to remain in office as CBN Governor and begging Buhari to retain him in the alternative of jettisoning his presidential ambition.
Recall that Mr. President had, on Thursday, May 12, directed Emefiele, and other political appointees seeking elective positions in the 2023 general elections to resign without delay.
Buhari officially communicated to the affected appointees via a circular issued by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr. Boss Mustapha, in Abuja.
The circular reads inter alia: “Mr. President has observed the intention by some members of the Federal Executive Council and other political office holders, to contest the upcoming presidential, gubernatorial, national and state assemblies’ elections, and decided that due process must be followed,” noting that the later circular was to clarify confusion in certain quarters regarding the fate of appointees who are not cabinet members, Emefiele inclusive, stressing that “Mr. President had further directed that heads of extra-ministerial departments, agencies and parastatals of government, among others, should resign,” giving them up to May 16 to do so.
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