..as Supreme Court orders circulation of old naira notes till December
President Muhammadu Buhari has apologised to Nigerians over the naira redesign policy, saying that it was not introduced to cause hardship.
In October 2022, Godwin Emefiele, governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), announced the plan to redesign the N200, N500, and N1,000 notes.
The apex bank fixed February 10 as the deadline for the use of old naira notes — and that led to a scarcity of the currency.
In a video clip posted on Twitter by Uba Sani, gubernatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kaduna, on Thursday, Buhari said the policy was meant to boost the economy.
“I apologise to you for the hardship caused by the change of the naira. It was done to boost the economy of the country, not to cause hardship to anybody,” the president said.
Buhari begged Kaduna residents to vote for Sani, senator representing Kaduna central, as the governor of the state.
“First of all, I want to once again thank you for the confidence you have in me by electing me president on the platform of our party, the APC,” Buhari said.
“I want to use this opportunity to inform you that Uba Sani is our candidate for the governorship election in Kaduna state. I am begging you to vote for him and all APC candidates for the house of assembly to help him work.
“Uba is a leading member of this journey. We worked together in the senate and he demonstrated capacity and competence. He will perform better than expected.
“Kaduna is home to me. Therefore, I urge you to vote for Uba Sani and all our APC candidates for the state assembly.”
This is coming up as there is a development about the naira swap policy as the Supreme Court on Friday ordered that old N200, N500, and N1,000 notes remain in circulation till December 31, 2023.
The apex court also nullified the Federal Government’s naira redesign policy, declaring it as an affront to the 1999 Constitution.
Justice Emmanuel Agim, who read the lead judgement, held that the preliminary objections by the defendants (the Attorney General of the Federation, Bayelsa and Edo states) are dismissed as the court has the jurisdiction to entertain the suit.
Citing Section 23(2)1 of the constitution, the court held that the dispute between the Federal Government and states must involve law or facts.
The apex court further held that President Muhammadu Buhari in his broadcast admitted that the policy is flawed with a lot of challenges.
The court said the policy has led to some people engaging in trade by barter in this modern age in a bid to survive. The court added that the President’s disobedience of the February 8 order, is a sign of dictatorship.
The apex court held that President Buhari breached the Constitution of the Federation in the ways he issued directives for the re-designing of the Naira by the CBN.
Justice Agim further held that the President failed to consult the National Council of States, Federal Executive Council (FEC) and the National Economic Council (NEC) before directing the CBN to unlawfully introduce new Naira notes.
In the unanimous judgement, the court held that the unlawful use of executive powers by the President, inflicted unprecedented economic hardship on the citizens by denying them ownership of and access to their money.
Sixteen states of the Federation instituted the suit to challenge the legality or otherwise of the introduction of the policy.
Justice John Inyang Okoro who led a seven-man panel of Justices of the Court had on February 22 fixed today for the court to make its decision known on the suit.
The 16 states led by Kaduna, Kogi and Zamfara prayed the apex court to void and set aside the policy on the ground that it is inflicting hardships on innocent Nigerians.
They accused the President of usurping the function of the CBN in the introduction and implementation of the policy and asked that the directive issued by Buhari be voided.
Source: theCable, ChannelsTV