Some state governments are planning to initiate contempt proceedings against the federal government and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) over their non-compliance with the Supreme Court judgments on the naira redesign policy. Last week, the supreme court ruled that the old N200, N500, and N1,000 notes remain legal tender till the end of 2023.
Following the judgments, some banks have been giving the old notes to customers but the banks insist that customers fill out a form on the CBN portal before the old notes can be deposited. However, traders, motorists, and business owners have also refused to accept the old naira notes in anticipation of official approval from the CBN Governor or President Muhammadu Buhari.
On Friday, the governments of Kaduna, Kogi, Zamfara, Ondo, Ekiti, Katsina, Ogun, Cross River, Lagos and Sokoto states served Abubakar Malami, attorney-general of the federation, the enrolled order and certified true copy of the supreme court judgments. Abdulhakeem Mustapha, counsel for Kaduna, Kogi and Zamfara states, said that he expected immediate compliance with the judgment as the non-service of the documents had given the government and the CBN an escape route.
“The Attorney-General of the Federation has been served now and we will take it up from there; if there is no compliance now, we will commence committal proceedings against the attorney-general and the CBN governor,” Mustapha told The Punch Newspaper. “When the Supreme Court makes an order, the constitution makes it compulsory for all government representatives and everybody to comply with its order. It’s not discretional, you have to obey, it is the last and the final and that is why we have separation of power.
“The presence of separation of power is for checks and balances; when the Supreme Court talks, it must be complied with by all persons.” The Kogi state government also threatens to arrest and prosecute persons and businesses rejecting the old naira notes.
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