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2023: Emefiele bows to pressure, withdraws suit against INEC, AGF over presidential ambition

Godwin Emefiele, Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has finally succumbed to pressure as he withdrew the suit he filed against the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Attorney-General of the Federation over his presidential ambition.

This notice was made known on Monday May 23, 2022 by his lawyer, S.T. Maliki, who told told Justice Ahmed Mohammed that a notice of discontinuance had been filed and served on the defendants in the matter.

Emefiele had in a suit filed on May 5, 2022 asked a Federal High Court in Abuja to declare him eligible to participate in the 2023 presidential election.

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The suit was filed a few days after three support groups bought him the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential nomination and expression of interest forms worth N100 million.

It has the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and Abubakar Malami, Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), as respondents.

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.

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“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.

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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.

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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.

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