Court Stops CBN, Buhari From Extending Deadline For Old Naira Notes Phase Out
The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court, has stopped the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) from suspending or extending the February 10 deadline for the phase out of the old naira notes.
Naija News reports that the presiding judge, Justice Eneojo Eneche, gave the ruling on Monday in a motion by five political parties.
Justice Eneche also stopped President Muhammadu Buhari and 27 commercial banks from interfering with the deadline or issue any directive contrary to the said date.
The judge also granted an order directing the Chief Executive Officers (CEOS) of the banks, to show cause why they should not be arrested and prosecuted for the financial sabotage of the country, by illegally hoarding and not disbursing the new N200, N500, and N1000 bank notes, despite supply of such notes by the apex bank.
In the 27 grounds by the applicants they made out a case showing that politicians who ostensibly were in possession of illicit funds were the ones who wanted the policies suspended.
Buhari, last year, approved the redesign of the banknotes. The move has, however, created hardship among Nigerians who have struggled to lay hands on the new notes as the February 10th deadline for the currency swap inches closer.
In the wake of the naira swap crisis, the CBN maintained it would not extend the deadline.
The recent CBN policy has been met with polarising views as some have expressed support for the apex bank’s decision, while many others have kicked against it as insensitive to the average Nigerian.
On the one hand, some critics of the directive have accused the apex bank of deceiving Buhari.
For instance, a former National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, faulted the policy, describing it as senseless and a plot by the apex bank to scuttle the general elections.
According to him, the CBN sold an anti-corruption motive to the President which made him approve the policy.
While on the other hand, in spite of the policy presented as targeted at corrupt politicians and hoarders of illicit funds, others like the presidential candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar; and Labour Party, Peter Obi, have shown support for the CBN.