Kogi governorship election tribunal summons CBN governor, warns against failure to comply

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The Kogi Governorship Election Petition Tribunal, seated in Abuja, has issued a directive for the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Olayemi Cardoso, to appear before it on Tuesday.

The order comes as the tribunal seeks clarification on the role of the apex bank in the November 11, 2023 Off-Cycle election in Kogi State.

The three-member panel of justices, led by Justice Ado Birnin-Kudu, expressed dissatisfaction over the absence of any representative from the CBN during the previous hearing.

This occurred following an application by Alex Izinyon, SAN, counsel for Governor Usman Ododo of Kogi, the 2nd respondent in the petition filed by the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and its candidate in the November 11, 2023 governorship election in the state.

The tribunal had previously issued a subpoena to compel the CBN governor or any of its officers to attend the proceedings. Despite this, no representative from the apex bank appeared at the hearing on the specified date.

During Monday’s proceedings, after witnesses led by Paul Daudu, who appeared for the governor, were cross-examined, Izinyon expressed disappointment with the absence of the CBN management.

He described the letter written by the apex bank to the tribunal, stating their unavailability until April 26, as “an act of contempt.”

In response, the tribunal ordered the CBN governor and the director of Corporate Service to appear on Tuesday to provide evidence.

Justice Birnin-Kudu emphasized that the subpoena was a command in the name of the President, Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and considered the bank’s failure to comply as contemptuous.

The tribunal adjourned the matter until April 23 for the continuation of the 2nd respondent’s defence and for the CBN officials to explain their absence.

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