Emefiele: What the Law Says About Removal Of CBN Governor

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The social media space has been agog with news of the sack of the governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Godwin Emefiele by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The alleged sack of Mr Emefiele has generated debate as to whether the president is legally empowered to remove a CBN governor from office.

The CBN Act No. 7 of 2007 official gazette No.55 Vol. 94 of June 1, 2007, by the Federal Government of Nigeria, provides for the appointment of the Central Bank Governor and his removal from office.

Section 8(1) of the CBN Act provisions says (1) “the governor and the deputy governors shall be persons of recognized financial experience and shall be appointed by the President, subject to confirmation by the Senate on such terms and conditions as may be set in their respective letters of appointments”.  

(2) “the governor and deputy governors shall be appointed in the first instance for a term of five (5) years and shall be each be eligible for re-appointments for another term, not exceeding five (5) years; provided that of the first four (4) deputy governors to be so appointed, one shall in the first instance be appointed for three (3) years and two (2) shall be in the first instance be appointed for four (4) years”.

Section 11 of the CBN Act provides for cessation of appointment by a governor of the CBN, deputy governors, and director of the CBN. Section 11(2) (c&f) of the Act says, “the governor, the deputy governor or director shall cease to hold office in the CBN if he (c) he is guilty of a serious misconduct in relation to his duties under this Act; or (f) is removed by the President; provided that the removal shall be supported by a two-thirds majority of the Senate praying that he be so removed”.

According to the CBN Act, the CBN governor, deputy governor or director can be removed by the president only after the endorsement of two-thirds majority of members of the senate.

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