10 states have entered into a fresh legal battle against the federal government and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). This is coming after the federal government and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) failed to honour the Supreme Court’s March 3 ruling extending the validity of old Naira banknotes.
Anger and frustration are rising across the country at the failure to implement the court order. Nigerians have waited endlessly for the government to give the go-ahead to resume using the old N500 and N1000 banknotes.
At the time of this report, traders, filling stations and transporters are also refusing to accept invoices ad transfers. Meanwhile, new notes are still very much in short supply.
For this reason, the economy has slowed down significantly.
The 10 states involved are Kaduna, Kogi, Zamfara, Ondo, Ekiti, Katsina, Ogun, Cross River, Lagos and Sokoto states. They served the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami (SAN) the enrolled order of the Supreme Court on the extension of the validity of the old N200, N500 and N1,000 to December 31st, 2023.
Through the service, the order became automatically applicable to all agencies of the Federal Government. This includes the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
Furthermore, Malami and CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele risk being committed for contempt of the court. Considering that if by Monday the 13th, they refuse to comply with the order of the apex court.
The 10 states have activated the machinery to file contempt charges if the order of the Supreme Court is defied by the FG and CBN.
The delay in releasing the Certified True Copy (CTC) seems to have encouraged the banks to adopt different attitudes to the judgment of the apex court.
Some of the banks have been giving old notes to customers. However, the banks insist that customers go through the strenuous process stipulated by the CBN for the old notes to be banked.
It was gathered that the enrolled order, dated March 3rd, 2023, was served on AGF Malami yesterday.
One of the counsels in the matter said-
“We have finally served the Attorney-General of the Federation the enrolled order of the Supreme Court.
“What we did on Friday was to fulfill all righteousness by serving the enrolled order on the AGF. The Federal Government has been evasive by claiming that it had not received the Certified True Copy (CTC) of the judgment, which we have obtained and made available to it. The burden is on Malami to act as the Chief Law Officer of the Federation to comply with the order.
“There is no hiding place for the government; there is no excuse again. While we are waiting for the government’s decision, the law provides us backing for Plan B.”
cc: The Nations Ng