Buhari Govt Asks Supreme Court To Dismiss Ruling On Naira Note Deadline
The Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government has asked the Supreme Court to dismiss a suit filed by three northern state governments challenging the deadline set by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to end the legal tender status of the old naira notes.
The government through the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami, argued that the Supreme Court lacked jurisdiction to entertain the suit in a preliminary objection.
The AGF, through his lawyers, Mahmud Magaji and Tijanni Gazali, asked the apex court to strike out the suit for lack of jurisdiction.
The AGF, in court filings dated February 8, 2023, contends that “the plaintiffs have equally not shown reasonable cause of action against the defendant.”
Citing grounds in support of the objection, with reference to Section 251 of the Constitution, the AGF argued that the suit falls within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Federal High Court in matters of monetary policy of an agency of the Federal Government.
Malami said: “The claims or reliefs are not against the federation, but the Federal Government and its agency, the Central Bank of Nigeria.
“The Federal Government of Nigeria is distinct from the Federation or the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The plaintiffs have no grievance whatsoever against the Federation of Nigeria.
“This suit has disclosed no dispute that invokes this (Supreme) Court’s original jurisdiction as constitutionally defined.”
Recall that the state governments of Kaduna, Kogi, and Zamfara had, on February 3rd, dragged the Federal Government to the Supreme Court over the naira redesign policy of the CBN.
The states urged the Supreme Court to compel Buhari, the CBN, and commercial banks to rescind the February 10 deadline for the old N200, N500, and N1,000 banknotes as Nigeria’s legal tender.
Ruling on Wednesday, the Supreme Court ordered the Federal Government to halt the implementation of the currency redesign policy pending the determination of the substantive suit.