UPDATE: Supreme Court Scolds Buhari, Emefiele for Disobeying Order on Old Naira Notes
The Supreme Court of Nigeria has described as dictatorial and undemocratic the decision of President Muhammadu Buhari to disobey its earlier order on the continuous use of old N200, N500 and N1000 notes.
The court in an unanimous ruling on Friday said the President had no right to vary it’s order and banned the use of old notes.
The ruling read by Justice Emmanuel Agim ordered the continuous use of old notes till December 31, 2023.
He added that the CBN is not above the law and cannot trample on people’s rights to their money.
Also Read: JUST IN: Supreme Court Blasts FG, Orders Old Naira Notes Remain Legal Tender Till Dec 31
“Our rule of law becomes illusory if a President refuses to obey the court.
“I am not aware of any law which empowers a bank to withhold a customer’s money and refused to give him/her. The directive on withdrawal limit is an infringement on people’s rights.
“I hold that no reasonable notice was given by the CBN under section 20 of the CBN Act. The directive is invalid and I hereby declare it so.
“In other countries, decisions to change currencies follow due process and in accordance with democratic dictates, not after a side talk with their central bank chiefs.
“The directive given by the President, through a press release by the CBN is invalid.
“The position of the president as Agent of the federation imposed a duty of consultation on him. Not to do so makes him a dictator.
“States have a right to be consulted by the President before the directive to the CBN, as constituents of the Federation,” the judge ruled.
The judge added that the apex court had the right to assume original jurisdiction on the naira redesign case brought by the governments of Kogi, Kaduna and Zamfara states.
“The CBN Act cannot rob this court of its Original Jurisdiction in this suit
“This suit falls within the original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court under section 232 of the Constitution.
“The Supreme Court therefore has jurisdiction on Naira swap case,” the judge added.
On the issue of the litigants not joining the apex bank in the suit, the court ruled that: “CBN is an agent of the President. No need to join the CBN as a party.
The judge also dismissed the preliminary objections by the attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami and the Edo and Bayelsa state governments.