The President’s recent announcement regarding the naira policy has been deemed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, as a violation of the rule of law due to its inconsistency with the Supreme Court’s order. Gbajabiamila’s spokesperson, Lanre Lasisi, released a statement on Thursday conveying the Speaker’s sentiments.
During a nationwide broadcast on Thursday, President Buhari directed the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to reintroduce the old N200 note until 10 April and discontinue the legal tender status of the old N1,000 and N500 notes. However, the Supreme Court had issued an interim order on 8 February that instructed the CBN to suspend the currency’s deadline on 10 February. Nevertheless, the CBN ignored the order and continued with the deadline.
Gbajabiamila expressed his approval of the extension of the N200 note’s legal status, but emphasized that it did not align with the Supreme Court’s directive. He further stated that the government should not condone actions that demonstrate a lack of regard for the rule of law. He also hoped that the extension would alleviate the suffering of Nigerians.
He said that it is not in the best interest of our country for the federal government to behave in a manner that shows a careless disregard for the rule of law. Instead, it would be more beneficial for us to strictly comply with the court’s order in this case until the substantive lawsuit is resolved.
Mr. Gbajabiamila claimed that the scarcity of the naira was caused by the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele’s failure to heed advice. He contended that if Mr. Emefiele had adhered to Section 20 of the CBN Act, the policy would have been implemented smoothly.
Across the country, citizens and visitors are experiencing severe and unnecessary hardship. They are spending hours and days queuing at banks and ATMs to access their own money to meet life’s basic needs.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has poorly executed the naira redesign policy, leading to this situation. It is also a result of decisions made by the CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, who has refused to take advice, be guided by precedent, or adhere to the rulings of superior courts.
The Speaker asserted that the CBN has completely failed in its legal obligation to pay the face value of the recalled currency in a way that is beneficial to citizens. If the CBN had acted differently, the current suffering of citizens could have been avoided.
Source: Premium Times