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Cardoso To Appear Before Kogi Election Tribunal 

 

The Kogi State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja has summoned the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria Olayemi Cardoso, to appear before it on Tuesday.

Cardoso was summoned by the tribunal to clear the air on the apex bank’s role in the November 11, 2023 election in the state.

The CBN Governor was summoned following an application on Monday by Alex Izinyon(SAN), counsel for the Governor of Kogi State, Usman Ododo,

The governor is the second respondent in the petition filed by the Social Democratic Party and its candidate, Muritala Ajaka.

Izinyon moved the application following the refusal of the CBN governor or any officer at the bank to honour the subpoena issued by the tribunal on April 18.

He stated that he was aware that the CBN management, in a letter to the tribunal, said they would not be available until Friday, April 26 pursuant to their application for subpoena.

He added that while Ododo had intended to call his witnesses within five days, the subpoena should be addressed before the governor proceeds.

Izinyon, who said he expected an officer from the Legal Department of the CBN to be at the tribunal on Monday, described the letter written to the tribunal by the apex bank as “an act of contempt.”

He said subpoena, by nature, is in the name of the President and Commander-In-Chief of Armed Forces.

He said the CBN team should be at the tribunal on Tuesday to give evidence and if they failed to appear, it would be in the court record, going by the fact that the matter was time-bound.

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“If by tomorrow, we call our last witnesses and they (CBN officers) are not here, we urge my lord to look at our application in the interest of justice,” he said.

Counsel for the Independent National Electoral Commission, Aliyu Saiki (SAN) and All Progressives Congress lawyer, D.C. Demingwe (SAN) and the counsel for the petitioners, and Pius Akubo (SAN) seconded Izinyon’s application.

Akubo, however, said that since Izinyon had hinted that the Ododo would be closing his defence on Tuesday, he urged the court to allow the APC to proceed with its defence after the governor must have called his witnesses, even if CBN officers failed to appear.

Delivering the ruling, Justice Ado Birnin-Kudu held that the subpoena was to the CBN governor and director of Corporate Service of the bank.

According to him, it is a command in the name of the President, Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The judge held that the act of writing to the tribunal by the apex bank that its officers “will be available on April 26 is contemptuous and condemnable.”

The panel then adjourned the matter till April 23 for the continuation of the second respondent’s defence and for the CBN to show cause.

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