By Ebere Agozie
The Supreme Court on Friday ordered the Federal Government to allow the old Naira notes to continue as legal tender until Dec. 31, 2023.
Justice Emmanuel Agim, who read the lead judgment, held that the preliminary objections by the Attorney General of the Federation, Bayelsa and Edo are dismissed as the court has the jurisdiction to entertain the suit.
Citing Section 23(2)1 of the constitution, the court held that the dispute between the Federal Government and states must involve law or facts.
The Apex Court declared the Federal Government’s economic policy of Cashless and Naira Re-designing as an affront to the 1999 Constitution.
The court held that President Muhammadu Buhari breached the Constitution of the Federation in the ways and manners he issued directives for the re-designing of the Naira by the Central Bank of Nigeria CBN.
Justice Agim held that the President acted ulta vires by his glaring failure to consult with the National Council of States, Federal Executive Council FEC and the National Economic Council NEC before directing the Central Bank of Nigeria to unlawfully introduce new Naira notes.
He held that the unconstitutional use of powers by Buhari on Naira Re-designing has breached the fundamental rights of the Nigerian citizens in various ways.
The apex court said such use of powers by President Buhari is not permitted under democracy and in a plural society like the Nigerian nation.
Among others, the court held that unlawful use of executive powers by the President inflicted unprecedented economic hardship on the citizens by denying them ownership of their monies and access to the money.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Kaduna, Kogi, Zamfara had filed the suit but Rivers, Kano, Niger, Jigawa, Nasarawa, Ondo, Ekiti, Katsina, Ogun, Cross River, Lagos, and Sokoto states were among the first batch to be joined as co-plaintiffs, while Edo and Bayelsa states joined the attorney-general of the federation (AGF) as defendants.
Specifically, the states are seeking to restrain the federal government from giving effect to the deadline on the use of old N200, N500, and N1,000 notes.
On Feb. 8, the supreme court restrained the CBN from giving effect to the deadline following an ex parte application brought by the three states. (NAN)