The Federal High Court, Abuja will on May 3, 2016 begin hearing in a suit filed by 10 plaintiffs against the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Godwin Emefiele.
The suit was filed on behalf of Achilike Anderson and nine others by their counsel, Ezenwa Ibegbunam.
In the suit Number FHC/ABJ/CS/218/16, the plaintiffs are seeking 10 reliefs, including an order directing the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to arrest and prosecute the CBN governor for “offences of money laundering, unlawful, illegal and fraudulent direct cash payment to the Office of the National Security Adviser via a letter dated November 26, 2014 referenced: NSA/366/S.”
Besides the CBN governor, other defendants are the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (second defendant); the EFCC (third defendant); and the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (fourth defendant).
The plaintiffs are seeking “an order directing the second defendant (the President) pursuant of Section 11 (2) (c) and (f) of the CBN (Establishment) Act Cap C4 LFN 2004 to write to the fourth defendant (Senate)” praying for the removal of the CBN governor.”
They are also asking the court to order the EFCC to carry out an investigation into the “unlawful, illegal, and fraudulent act of the first defendant in making direct cash payment to the office of the NSA.”
The plaintiffs urged the court to declare that by “virtue of the combined effect of Sections 1 and 10 (1) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2004, the act of the first defendant (the CBN governor) in making direct cash payment in various sums of money to the Office of the NSA under the cover of ‘special services” in excess of the authorised limit cash payment and without giving the requisite report in writing within seven days to the third defendant (EFCC) constitutes a gross abuse of and misconduct in relation to the discharge of his duties.”
They are demanding that the court should declare that the special cash payment to the NSA office constitutes “a flagrant abuse of financial regulations, lacking in due process and therefore illegal and unlawful.”
The plaintiffs are seeking a declaration that the first defendant is in breach of his statutory duty to promote sound financial system in Nigeria; ensure monetary stability and provide financial advice.
They asked the court to declare that the CBN governor has “misconducted” himself in the discharge of his duties such that pursuant to Sections 5 (1) (B), (D); (E) (H), (I), (L) and 6 of the EFCC Act,2002, the anti-graft commission had the powers to investigate the cash payment to the NSA office.
They want the court to declare that the President is under the obligation to write the Senate praying for the removal of Emefiele as the CBN governor.
Beside the cash payment, the plaintiffs are seeking a declaration that the first defendant (Emefiele) in employing 91 persons as members of staff of the CBN “amounted to gross act of misconduct, abuse of office and breach of due process and therefore illegal, void and of no effect.”
They are urging the court to “set aside and/or nullify the employment, offer of employment or hiring of the 91 persons by the first defendant (Emefiele) for being illegal and lacking in due process.”
The summons was taken by Ezenwa Ibegbunam of Ezenwa Ibegbunam and Co, Abuja.