From Fred Itua, Abuja
Members of the Coalition of North-Central Youths Vanguard for Emefiele, have said that the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele has not broken any law by purchasing the Presidential forms of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Ameenah Hayatudeen Publicity Secretary, The Coalition of North-Central Youths Vanguard for Emefiele in a statement, said the Section of CBN Act erroneously quoted, has not been violated by Emefiele.
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He said: “While we are aware of the provisions of Section 9 of the CBN Act which states that: ‘the Governor and the Deputy Governor 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 and charitable causes as may be determined by the Board and which do not conflict with or detract from their full-time duties…’
“Clearly from the above provision, the CBN Governor or Deputy Governor cannot be involved in any other employment or vocation while in office. Arising from this, therefore, how do we define employment or vocation?
“In the case of Shell Petroleum Company of Nigeria vs Federal Board of Inland Revenue 1996 8 NWLR Part 466 256, the Supreme Court held that where the words of a statute are plain, precise and unambiguous, then it should be given the ordinary and natural meaning.
“We make bold to ask then from Emefiele’s traducers “what then is the natural and ordinary meaning of the word employment? And what is the natural and ordinary meaning of the word vocation”?
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“Employment means “the state of having paid work”. While vocation means “a person’s employment or main occupation”.
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“Based on these definitions above, can it then be said that seeking election into the office of the president of Nigeria is an employment or vocation? The answer must surely be in the negative. Anything other than that will be the most artificial interpretation to suit a sinister purpose.
“Moreso, the constitution is clear on rights of association, and rights to seek elective positions. And there is no impediment whatsoever on the exercise of such rights except such impediments are contained in the constitution.
“Contesting for the position of the president is an exercise of constitutional rights and not an engagement in any employment or vocation.
“We wish to state unequivocally, that Godwin Emefiele is the right man to be the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and he will enjoy the total support of North Central Youths.”