Supreme Court news: Apex Court fixes judgment for March on cash swap
Latest Supreme Court news on Naira scarcity.
On Wednesday, the Supreme Court postponed a case brought by state governments against the federal government that contested the implementation of the redesign of the naira.
The case was postponed until March 3 for judgment by the Apex court.
Previously, the supreme court combined the lawsuits filed by more than 12 state governments.
Seven additional states joined the three original states as co-plaintiffs at the most recent hearing on February 15, while Edo and Bayelsa states joined the Federal Government as co-defendants. However, the court declined to include Abia State in the lawsuit on the grounds that its originating summons was received too late.
Abia State Government’s attempts to join the lawsuit were unsuccessful, and it was told to wait to present its defence.
Emmanuel Ukala, the attorney for Rivers State, also argued a motion for consolidation.
Ukala, who moved the motion on notice, based his request for consolidation on the requirement that the lawsuit be heard without delay because it concerns the same matter.
Justice John Okoro, the chairman of the 7-person panel, granted the request and directed that the ten lawsuits be combined into one.
The Attorneys General (AGs) of Kaduna, Kogi, Zamfara, Ondo, Ekiti, Katsina, Ogun, Cross River, Sokoto, and Lagos states are now the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, while the defendants are Abubakar Malami (SAN), the Attorney General of the Federation, and the AGs of Bayelsa and Edo states.
Kanu Agabi, the federal government’s attorney, opened the hearing by stating that the Supreme Court had ruled that all reliefs are based on section 20 of the CBN Act and that the action cannot begin with an originating summons, so the top court lacks jurisdiction to hear the case.
He questioned why, after mentioning the CBN governor 32 times in their Originating Summons, the plaintiffs did not name him as a respondent.
Supreme Court news
He claimed that despite the reliefs being in the CBN’s favour, they did not see fit to involve the CBN in the dispute. He continued by saying that long before the President’s order, Nigerians had already started to reject the old notes. He insisted that the President is not going against the Supreme Court’s ruling because the President is allowed to veto any legislation by virtue of the Constitution.
The legal representatives for the states of Bayelsa and Edo concur in the suit’s dismissal for lack of jurisdiction.
Rivers’ attorney pleaded with the court to grant all of the reliefs requested therein.
The AGF’s attorney also requests that the case be completely dismissed in court.
Additionally, a co-plaintiff, the Attorney General of Kano State, claimed that President Muhammadu Buhari ignored the National Economic Council’s members and only followed the CBN governor’s advice when implementing the monetisation policy.
He added that, in contrast to what the law required, the President chose to act without consulting the state governments.
He added that if nothing is done to address the issue of cash shortage, there will be a breach in law and order according to a security report. Abdullahi Ganduje, the governor of Kano State, is a council member, and according to him, the matter wasn’t brought up at the NEC meeting.
Instead, the Vice President, who serves as the council’s chairman, and the finance minister were ignored by the CBN governor, who also relied solely on the President.
Still on latest Supreme Court news.
The Justice emphasised that if the President orders that the old 200 naira notes be reinstated as legal tender, the Supreme Court will have jurisdiction over him.
In addition, the Jigawa Attorney General claimed that Section 148 of the Constitution required the President to consult the governor of Jigawa State as a federating unit before implementing the redesign policy, but the President failed to do so.
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After many Nigerians complained, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) moved the deadline for swapping old N200, N500, and N1,000 bills from January 31 to February 10. However, the Supreme Court, in response to a lawsuit filed by the states, ruled that the Federal Government, the CBN, and commercial banks cannot keep to the February 10 deadline until a notice about the issue is decided on February 22.
But in a national broadcast last Thursday, President Muhammadu Buhari told the central bank to put old N200 notes back into circulation along with new N200, N500, and N1,000 notes for 60 days, or until April 10, 2023. He also said that Nigeria no longer accepts old N500 and N1,000 banknotes.
The President’s order has gotten a lot of attention and harsh criticism, even from governors of his own party, the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Governors Nasir El-Rufai (Kaduna), Abubakar Badaru (Jigawa), Rotimi Akeredolu (Ondo), and Umar Ganduje (Kano), as well as the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, and many other key members of the ruling APC, have openly criticised and criticised the President’s
Senior Advocates of Nigeria like Femi Falana and Mike Ozekhome have also criticised the President’s move, saying that he cannot go against the country’s highest court.
Also, the governors of the states of Kaduna, Zamfara, and Kogi have filed another suit against Malami and the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, for contempt of court and not following the Supreme Court’s order about the old naira notes.
That is all the latest news in Nigeria and Supreme Court news on Naira scarcity