CBN Governor,Godwin Emefiele, asked to leave office, Presidency reportedly denies it

According to reports, the Nigerian government has asked the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, to proceed on leave ahead of expiration of his tenure.

Emefiele was said to have received a letter to the effect on Monday.The financial expert has been Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria since June 3, 2014.

However, the online news medium said that sources within the presidency described the report as false and misleading.

“The president does not have the power to sack the CBN governor without the approval of the National Assembly,” one of the persons familiar with the matter was quoted to have said.

According to the news medium, when likened the matter to the suspension of Muhammad Sanusi II, the former CBN governor, the source said: “Suspension is different from sack, and Emefiele has not done anything wrong to be suspended or asked to proceed on terminal leave.”

Section eight of the CBN Act of 2007 says a CBN governor can be removed by the president “provided that the removal of the Governor shall be supported by two-thirds majority of the Senate praying that he be so removed”.

Emefiele’s tenure as CBN governor is expected to come to an end on June 3, 2019 — five years after his appointment. Another source said: “The rumour mill is grinding so fast, seeing its exactly three months to the expiration of his tenure.” It was gathered that Emefiele was in his office on Monday and no such letter was received by the office of the governor.

Emefiele can be reappointed as the CBN governor based on the discretion of the president and the approval of the National Assembly. Section 10 of the CBN Act prescribes that “the Governor and Deputy Governors shall be appointed in the first instance for a term of five years and shall each be eligible for re-appointment for another term not exceeding five years”. The act is silent on terminal leave, but it was learnt that CBN governors do not go on terminal leave due to the sensitivity of the job.

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