The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, has reportedly picked the All Progressives Congress N100m presidential nomination and expression of interest form.
He picked up the form on Friday in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
Godwin Emefiele was first appointed the CBN governor in 2014 and has since remained at the apex bank through a second term given him by the Muhammadu Buhari administration.
Under his leadership at the apex bank, the naira has suffered an unprecedented fall in value against the dollar and several major currencies exchanging at N560/$1 from around N150/$1 when he came into office.
When rumours started surfacing of his Presidential ambition earlier in the year, he said his fate was in the hands of God.
Section 9 of the CBN Act, 2007, which governs the operation of the bank and regulates its officials’ conduct, the CBN governor must not venture into any other vocation while in office and must resign in writing to the President if he nursed such intention.
It read, “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…”
So far, 25 aspirants have reportedly purchased the presidential form as at the close of work on Friday with Former Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, also said to be warming up to pick the form over the weekend before the deadline slated for Monday, May 9th.
Those who have reportedly purchased the forms are Sen. Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, Rotimi Amaechi, Sen. Godswill Akpabio, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, Sen. Chris Ngige, Sen. Rochas Okorocha, Sen. Ibikunle Amosu, Pst. Tunde Bakare, Com. Adams Oshiomole, Prof. Ben Ayade, Gov. Dave Umahi, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, Emeka Nwajiuba, Sen. Ken Nnamani, Gov. Yahaya Bello, Sen. Orji Uzor Kalu, Gov. Abubakar Badaru, Mr Godwin Emefiele, Sen. Ahmed Sani Yerima, Sen. Ajayi Borroffice, Mrs Uji Ohnenye, Pastor Nicholas Felix Nwagbo, Hon. Dimeji Bankole, Mrs Aishat Alubankudi
Mr Yakubu Mohammed; Gbenga Olawepo-Hashim; Tien Jack-Rich; Tech Entrepreneur, Adamu Garba; Rev. Moses Ayom; Dr Ibrahim Bello-Dauda; and Ibinabo Dokubo are also expected to pick forms.
The Minister of Science and Technology, Onu; and the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva; are expected to join in the coming days.
Supporters have also offered to purchase forms for former President Goodluck Jonathan.
But in a swift reaction to the entry of the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, into the Presidential race, the Chairman of the Southern Governors’ Forum, Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State called for his immediate resignation from Office.
The Senior Advocate of Nigeria conceded that it is within the constitutional rights of the CBN governor to belong to any group of his choice and vie for any office he desires.
Mr. Akeredolu however submitted that it is difficult to imagine that a person who occupies the exalted and sensitive office of the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria will be this brazen in pursuit of his ambition.
The governor holds that the combined effect of the Public Service Rules, CBN Act, and the 1999 Constitution, as amended, exposes the oddity inherent in this brash exercise of presumed right to associate by Mr Emefiele.
It also confirms the illegality of the act should he proceed to submit the forms while occupying the seat as Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria.