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New Naira: Obey Supreme Court injunction or risk going to jail – Group warns Emefiele

By Guardian Nigeria
09 February 2023   |   10:36 am
The National Democratic Front, NDF, has expressed satisfaction with the Supreme Court’s interim injunction restraining the Federal Government

Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor Godwin Emefiele.

…lauds 3 Nothern Govs for instituting suit

The National Democratic Front, NDF, has expressed satisfaction with the Supreme Court’s interim injunction restraining the Federal Government from suspending the acceptance of the old Naira notes on Friday, February 10, 2023 deadline as earlier announced by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN.

A seven-man panel of the apex court led by Justice John Okoro, in a unanimous ruling on Wenesday, granted an interim injunction restraining the FG, CBN, commercial banks etc from implementing the February 10, deadline for the old 200, 500 and 1000 Naira notes to stop being a legal tender.

The ruling followed a motion ex-parte filed on February 3rd, by three northern states — Kaduna, Kogi, and Zamfara — through their counsel, AbdulHakeem Mustapha (SAN), praying the Supreme Court to halt the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) naira redesign policy.

Reacting in a statement by its President, Dr. Abdulkadir Suleiman in Abuja on Wednesday, National Democratic Front commended the Supreme Court for the ruling and hailed Governors Yahaya Bello (Kogi), Nasir El-Rufai (Kaduna), and Bello Matawalle (Zamfara) for instituting the suit.

“NDF commends the governors of Kaduna, Kogi, and Zamfara states who approached to the Supreme Court for its intervention without which Nigerians would have been punished for being alive. We align with their assertion that the implementation of the redesigned currency notes is negatively affecting the populace.

“We further commend the Supreme Court for saving the nation from the impending calamity that would have ruined the country had the court not granted this last-minute reprieve. Prior to the granting of the injunction many Nigerians have been sent back to the Stone Age as people were forced into engaging in trade by barter with all its uncertainties and inconveniences in addition to people being forced to trek long distances owing to the impractical options that the shabbily introduced new naira notes left them with,” the statement read.

The group warned the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, and “his lackeys” in the commercial banks not to contemplate exploiting technicalities to sidestep or disobey the order of the Supreme Court or risk being jailed for six months.

It urges Emefiele to note that “the paymasters that are pushing him to destroy the country with his half-baked and poorly thought-out policies are not higher than the apex court of the land and he will only end badly if he chooses to obey his handlers instead of the Supreme Court.”

NDF maintained that Emefiele owes Nigerians explanations as to how his fanatical implementation of the shambolic currency swap is not a deliberate action to punish the citizens over his rejected bid at running for the presidency of the country.

“Emefiele’s aspiration to become president without first resigning his position is for which he should be properly investigated and punished if found culpable of abuse of office, which makes it bizarre that he is now punishing citizens for his misadventure.

“We are also concerned that the CBN Governor has largely failed to address the assertion that the Chief Executive Officers of the commercial banks were willfully sabotaging the distribution of the new notes, an assertion made by no less a person than President Muhammadu Buhari. It is shocking that there have been no consequences in the aftermath of that discovery while citizens continue to take the punishment for Emefiele’s lapses. While it is well known that the CBN Governor has outsourced his statutory responsibilities to his friends in the commercial bank under the guise of the Bankers Committee, the reasonable thing to do at this point is for Emefiele to salvage what he can of the situation and his battered image,” it added.

The group tasked Emefiele to personally conduct online research and see the timeframe that responsible countries adopt for changing their currencies.

NDF noted that the only nations that have swapped currencies at the speed the CBN governor is attempting are nations that were tittering on the verge of actual collapse and Nigeria does not meet that designation.

It urged Emefiele to use use the Supreme Court injunction as a face-saving opportunity and adopt a more realistic transition to the new notes.