Naira Redesign: Nigerian government asks Supreme Court to dismiss states’ suit
The Nigerian Government has called on the Supreme Court to dismiss a suit challenging the 10 February deadline set by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to end the legal tender status of the old versions of some newly designed currency notes.
Penpushing reports that the government argued that the Supreme Court lacks jurisdiction to hear the suit, which was filed by three states – Kaduna, Kogi and Zamfara States, all in the northern part of Nigeria and controlled by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
The respondent insisted that the case is not a dispute between the federation and the state governments, but merely an issue about Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN’s) policy, stressing that the suit is, therefore, not qualified to be taken directly to the Supreme Court for adjudication, arguing that the suit ought to have been commenced at the Federal High Court.
Penpushing further reports that the Nigerian government’s filings came hours after the Supreme Court issued an order temporarily halting the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN’s) plan to end the use of the old currency notes on 10 February, 2023
The Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami, sued as the sole defendant as the representative of the federal government, filed his opposition to the suit as a preliminary objection against it at the Supreme Court on Wednesday.
Penpushing also reports that Malami’s filings came hours after the Supreme Court granted a request by the three state governments for an order temporarily halting the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN’s) plan to end the use of the old currency notes on 10 February.
The federal government nor the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has commented on their plan to comply with the ruling, while the application filed at the Supreme Court on 3 February,2023 prayed for an order restraining the Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN) from ending the use of the old currency notes on 10 February as threatened by the bank.
Penpushing reports that they cited the sufferings the scarcity of the newly redesigned N200, N500, and N1,000 bank notes had brought upon many Nigerians, and after listening to the applicants’ lawyer on Wednesday, a seven-member panel of the court, led by Justice John Okoro, issued an order of interim injunction halting the plan by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN ) to end the use of the old banknotes as scheduled.
The court then adjourned the hearing of the main case until 15 February, 2023, while Nigeria’s legal team led by two Senior Advocates of Nigeria – Mahmud Magaji and Tijanni Gazali – cited 11 grounds on which they anchored their call on the Supreme Court to dismiss the suit.
Penpushing further reports that the defendant’s legal team pointed out that the state governments’ suit challenges the federal government through its agency, the Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN), to withdraw old banknotes from the financial system and introduce new ones.
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