2023: Court of Appeal Affirms Sagay’s Stance On Emefiele’s Qualification to run Without Resigning From Office

Godwin Emefiele
The Court of Appeal, Abuja Division has struck out the suit marked: FHC/UM/CS/26/2022 which Mr. Nduka Edede filed before the Umuahia court, on the merit that the provision is unconstitutional because it violates Section 42 (1)(a) of the Constitution.
The provision had made it impossible for Government Appointees to contest any electoral position without resigning, an idea President Buhari criticized before signing the electoral act last February.
Delivering judgment today, the three-member panel headed by Justice Hamma Barka held that the Federal High Court, Umuahia, had no jurisdiction to have entertained the case as the plaintiff, Nduka Edede, lacked the locus standi to have filed the suit in the first instance.
Recall that the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, SAN, actually took this case to court when the National Assembly refused President Mohammadu Buhari’s request to expunge the very clause.
Just last weekend, the Chairman of the Nigeria Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC), and Nigeria’s Constitutional lawyer, Emeritus Prof. Itse Sagay, granting interview on the qualification of the CBN Governor Mr. Godwin Emefiele, said “There is a court judgement which has not been overturned that says you don’t have to resign until 30 days before an election.
“Until that is overturned, that is the law that governs that situation for now”.
With this judgement by the Court of Appeal, the CBN Governor Mr Godwin Emefiele, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, among others, may not resign their appointments before contesting in the forthcoming general elections.
The Appeal Court ruling also added that Nduka Edede did not establish any cause of action to have warranted him approaching the court on the issue because he did not establish that he was directly affected by the provision.