Naira Swap: AGF, CBN unjustly punished Nigerians, acted beyond limits — Akeredolu
• Urges FG To Implement Judgment
• Laments Collapse Of Businesses, Loss Of Lives
Ondo State Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, yesterday, hailed the nullification of the redesigned naira swap policy by the Supreme Court, with an admonition to the federal government and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) that the judgment immediately must be complied with.
Akeredolu, who vowed that the state government would move against any institution or individual that fails to comply with the judgment of the apex court, berated the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, and the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, for acting beyond their limits.
In a statement he personally signed, the governor decried the hardships Nigerians were subjected to with the redesigned naira policy, stressing that businesses and lives were lost in the process.
The statement read: “The government and the people of Ondo State received the news of the ruling of the Supreme Court on the punitive implementation of a monetary policy, hurriedly packaged to achieve a pernicious end by Mr. Godwin Emefiele, with great relief. The position of the apex court is in tandem with our press releases on the subject matter.
“We salute the industry and courage of the Justices of the Supreme Court for the well-considered ruling. The CBN Governor, Attorney General of the Federation, and Minister of Justice misadvised the President to assume the powers of an Emperor answerable only to himself and no other authorities as enshrined in the law.
“It is deplorable to witness small businesses collapse with unbelievable rapidity. We have been regaled with tales of the dehumanisation of ordinary Nigerians who have been forced to strip themselves naked in banking halls, weeping to be given their monies kept with the banks. Some have lost their lives needlessly for being unable to access their deposits in the banks upon demand.
“The governor of the CBN acted most irresponsibly when he claimed to be exercising powers, which the CBN Act does not invest in his office. He was quoted as saying that he was fighting corruption, money laundering, and vote-buying. He acted ultra vires, goaded by his political permutations. The AGF equally misled the president to act beyond the limits of his executive powers. Nigerians have been punished unduly.
“As the Supreme Court has pronounced, the law must be allowed to rule. There are statutory functions allotted to bodies in the 1999 Constitution, as amended. These bodies must be allowed to exercise those functions. Anyone purporting to act in contravention of the extant laws does so either ignorantly or mischievously. The letters of the law are simple and understandable if the people in authority embrace less mischief.”
The statement further read: “We enjoin the Federal Government to obey the ruling of the Supreme Court immediately, as there is no other alternative open to it…”
We congratulate the states that challenged this obnoxious policy implementation and hope that our banks will release the deposits of Nigerians in their custody upon demand forthwith, as there will be grave consequences for continued seizure of the hard-earned monies of citizens.
“There is no gain in asserting the obvious. The whole policy may have been well conceived. Its implementation has been politically driven. The CBN Governor is a partisan of injustice and oppression. Most governments, perhaps with the exception of a negligible few motivated by the possibility of deriving unexpressed political advantages, cannot meet simple obligations to their citizens. It is most unfortunate.
“As we enjoin the officials of the Federal Government, who may be directly involved in putting into effect the spirit and the letter of the Supreme Court ruling to do so immediately, the Ondo State Government will not hesitate to proceed against persons and institutions whose activities impede its ability to discharge statutory obligations to the people.
“There is no justification for the pains to which our people have been subjected for obvious political reasons.”