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Naira Redesign: FG, APC Govs Yet To Reach Out-of-court Settlement

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Naira Redesign: FG, APC Govs Yet To Reach Out-of-court Settlement

The Federal Government and the All Progressives Congress (APC) Governors are yet to reach an out-of-court resolution over the implementation of the naira redesign policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

Naija News reports that the Supreme Court will today resume hearing the suit instituted by the Kaduna, Kogi, and Zamfara state governments against the Federal Government over the naira redesign policy.

Katsina, Lagos, Cross River, Ondo, Ekiti, and Ogun states have joined as co-plaintiffs, while Bayelsa and Edo states joined the Federal Government as co-respondents.

Ahead of the resumed hearing this morning, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami met with Governors Nasir El-Rufai (Kaduna); Bello Matawalle (Zamfara), and Yahaya Bello (Kogi) for the past 48 hours over an out-of-court settlement.

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The Nation reports that Malami had asked the governors to withdraw the case from the Supreme Court but both parties were yet to agree on terms for the withdrawal of the case.

Malami and three APC governors have since Monday been discussing the February 8 interim order of the apex court, which declared ₦1,000, N500, and N200 as legal tenders until the determination of the suit pending before it.

The first meeting was held at the instance of the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Abdullahi Adamu.

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APC Governors Reject Promissory Notes

At the meeting on Monday, a source told The Nation that Malami pleaded with the governors to sheathe their swords, saying that he had consulted all APC governors who have agreed to withdraw the case in court.

The source said the APC governors at the meeting said they were unaware of the resolution of their colleagues which Malami was talking about and asked the minister to speak to the issue.

He source said the governors rejected the offer given by the minister that they must discontinue the case in the Supreme Court before the government makes its decision known.

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The source added that both parties could not agree on anything at the close of the meeting.

The source said: “At a stage, Malami said the Federal Government was ready to allow the old notes of N200, N500, and ₦1,000 to be legal tender with the new notes till April 10.

“But he added a caveat – that the governors must discontinue the case in the Supreme Court before the government makes its decision known. He even said the President may address the nation on Thursday (tomorrow) on the new development if the governors accepted the offer.

“The governors instantly rejected the promissory notes from the AGF. They demanded written terms of settlement which they will table before the apex court. They feared that the Federal Government may renege on the verbal agreement.

“As at the close of the meeting on Monday, there was a stalemate.

Malami Meets Kogi, Zamfara Attorneys-General

Another source revealed that Malami on Tuesday met with the Attorneys-General of Kogi and Zamfara states over the breakdown of the negotiation.

He said: “He told the attorneys-general to instruct their counsel to withdraw the matter in the apex court. He said he had secured the consent of the three governors to direct them to close the case.

“Again, one of the attorneys-general asked him why he (AGF) was giving them directives on behalf of their principals. They said they cannot withdraw the case without hearing from the affected governors whose states are the plaintiffs.”

It was gathered that as of press time, Malami and his legal team were expected to begin fresh out-of-court settlement with the counsel to the three states.

“There was no consensus till 7pm when the parties decided to meet again on likely terms of the settlement. The gaps in negotiation made the three states to push ahead with the contempt proceedings against Malami and Emefiele.”

Asked of what has become of the case, a counsel in the matter said: “The outcome of the negotiation on Tuesday night will determine whether or not we will withdraw the case.

“We have no choice other than to abide by what the two parties agreed upon.”

Ige Olugbenga is a fine-grained journalist. He loves the smell of a good lead and has a penchant for finding out something nobody else knows.