Rule of Law and Accountability Advocacy Centre (RULAAC) has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to take action against the Attorney-General of the Federation and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor over the delay in acting on the Supreme Court judgment on the naira redesign policy.
Development Diaries reports that the CBN on Monday finally directed commercial banks to comply with the ruling that the old N200, N500, and N1,000 banknotes remain legal tender till 31 December, 2023, ten days after the apex court gave the judgment.
The Supreme Court gave the ruling after 16 states of the federation instituted a suit to challenge the legality or otherwise of the introduction of the policy.
After the Supreme Court judgment, the presidency and the CBN kept quiet, as Nigerians continued to face hardship as a result of the CBN policy.
‘In compliance with the established tradition of obedience to court orders and sustenance of the rule of law principle that characterised the government of President Muhammadu Buhari, and by extension, the operations of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), as a regulator, deposit money banks operating in Nigeria have been directed to comply with the Supreme Court ruling of 3 March 2023’, the bank’s Acting Director of Corporate Communications, Isa AbdulMumin, said in a statement.
The statement was issued shortly after the presidency had denied that it asked the CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele, and the AGF, Abubakar Malami, to disobey the court ruling.
Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said the president never told the AGF and the CBN governor to disobey any court orders involving the government and other parties.
But RULAAC, in a statement to Development Diaries, said, ‘It does not make sense for President Buhari’s spokespersons to make excuses for the president saying he did not direct the Central Bank governor or the Attorney General of the Federation to disobey court orders.
‘These are public officials appointed by and are answerable to the president. They are also answerable to the law and to the people through elected representatives’.
The Executive Director of RULAAC, Okechukwu Nwanguma, noted that the buck stops at the president’s table and what Nigerians want to hear is what the president has done to call to order lawless officials of his government under his supervision when they act wrongfully.
‘Beyond disowning them through statements issued by his spokespersons, the president needs to demonstrate to Nigerians that he truly stands against lawlessness and executive rascality by imposing disciplinary actions against them in accordance with the law’, the statement added.
Development Diaries had earlier called on the president to act according to Section 287 of the 1999 Constitution.
As noted by RULAAC, we believe the president needs to demonstrate to Nigerians that he stands against disobedience to court orders and that he, indeed, respects the rule of law by taking action against the CBN governor and the AGF.
Photo source: Presidency Nigeria