President Muhammadu Buhari has officially written Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefelie, and heads of agencies like the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission, among others seeking to contest the 2023 general elections to resign.

This directive by President Muhammadu Buhari’s was contained in a circular issued, yesterday, and signed by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha.

Buhari had at the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting on Wednesday directed his appointees who have indicated interest in vying for elective positions to resign.

However, to clarify confusion in certain quarters regarding the fate of the appointees who are not cabinet members, Mustapha said Buhari had further directed that heads of extra-ministerial departments, agencies and parastatals of government, among others to resign.

“Consequently, Mr President has directed that the affected office holders aspiring to run for various offices in the 2023 General Elections, should tender their resignation on or before Monday, May 16.

“For the avoidance of doubt, this directive affects all ministers, heads and members of extra-ministerial departments, agencies and parastatals of government, ambassadors as well as other political appointees who desire to contest for elective offices,’’ SGF said.

According to him, for smooth running of the machinery of government and foreign missions, the affected ministers are to hand over to ministers of state where they exist or to the permanent secretaries, where there is no minister of state.

“Ambassadors shall hand over to their Deputy Heads of Mission or the most senior foreign officer in line with established practices.

“Similarly, heads of extra-ministerial departments, agencies and parastatals are to hand over to the most senior directors/officer as may be peculiar to the organisation, in line with the service wide circular No. SGF.50/S.II/C.2/268 of Dec. 4, 2017,’’ he said.

It was, however, unclear if President Buhari has the powers to order Emefiele’s resignation or dismissal as the Act establishing the CBN emphasises its independence from external influence.

Meanwhile, Emefiele, yesterday,  met with President Muhammadu Buhari, after which he declared that “there will be news.”

He had earlier gone to court to challenge the public service rule that requires public office holders to resign their positions before contesting for elective positions.

Asked to react to the story that the President had directed him to resign forthwith, Emefiele 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.”

When reminded that given his current position, his ambition was creating anxiety among Nigerians and the international community, Emefiele replied: “Let them have heart attack; it’s good to have heart attack. I’m having a lot of fun.”

A group of farmers had procured the N100 million presidential nomination forms of the APC for Emefiele, a move he said lacked his backing. Nonetheless, videos have emerged of several vehicles adorned with  Emefiele’s presidential campaign materials, suggesting a plan to contest the poll.

A Federal High Court, Abuja, yesterday, ordered the PDP and two others to be joined in a suit filed by Emefiele over his presidential ambition.

Justice Ahmed Mohammed gave the order after the PDP and two other lawyers, for themselves and on behalf of members of Save Nigeria, Our Fatherland, moved their motions to the effect.

Emefiele, through his lawyer, had, on Monday, approached the court with an ex-parte motion, seeking the court’s interpretation as to whether he could run for the 2023 presidential primary while he holds as governor of CBN.

He had sought an order of the court, restraining the Federal Government from removing him from office over his presidential ambition, pending the hearing and determination of the substantive matter.

He also prayed the court to stop the 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 Chief Mike Ozekhome seeking an order of maintenance of status quo ante bellum pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit.

Emefiele, in the suit, sued INEC and the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) as 1st and 2nd defendants respectively

•Political appointees sue APC, INEC over disqualification threats

Three aspirants have sued the APC and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) over threats to disqualify them from participating  in the 2023 general election.

The aspirants, Mr. Sodique Abubakar, Mr Sodique Lawal Abubakar and Mr Bindir Buba are praying the Federal High Court, Abuja to stop the APC and INEC from disqualifying them because they are political appointees.

In the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/641/2022 was filed on their behalf by Adeniyi Akintola, the plaintiffs argued that Section 84 (11) and (12) of the new Electoral Act was discriminatory against them and unconstitutional and therefore should not be permitted by the court to be used to disqualify them on account of their being political appointees.

They prayed the court to determine whether being Nigerians covered by sections 66, 177, 182 of the 1999 Constitution, they could be subjected to any other conditions, rules or guidelines other than the qualifications and criteria set out in sections 66, 177 and 182 of the constitution.

This they said was for the purpose of election into the office of governor of Bauchi State and members of the House of Representatives.

They also asked the court to determine whether as card carrying members of APC they could be prevented from participating in political convention, congress or primaries just because they were political appointees.

The trio also asked the court to determine whether the directive of the APC based on Section 184 (12) of the Electoral Act 2022 that political appointees must resign their positions 30 days before they can participate in its convention, congress or primaries was constitutional.

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