As the controversy associated with the new naira notes rages on, Naija News brings you the latest update on the controversial policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
Governor Rotimi Akeredolu has told residents and traders in Ondo State to accept and trade with the old N500, and N1,000 notes as directed by the Supreme Court.
The Governor in a statewide broadcast on Thursday said rejecting the old notes amounts to disobedience of a direct court order.
Akeredolu added that if residents of Ondo State continue to reject the money, it would only inflict unnecessary hardship and pain on the people.
He explained that the Supreme Court order has validated the old naira notes as legal tenders till the 31st of December 2023 and therefore appealed to the people of the state to embrace, use and accept the old notes alongside the new notes as stipulated by law.
While calling on the banks to increase the circulation of the naira notes so as to ease the suffering of the people, Governor Akeredolu urged all media organizations in the state, as well as all traditional rulers, community leaders, and opinion molders to assist the government in educating the people, especially at the grassroots on the need to embrace and accept the old naira notes.
He said “It is therefore of great concern to me today, that a large section of our people in the state, particularly traders in our markets, taxi and bus drivers, barbers, auto mechanics and artisans are rejecting the old naira notes thereby inflicting and sustaining a needless pain on their fellow citizens and customers.
” This is unfortunate and unexpected. It is a flagrant disobedience to the law and the Central Bank directives. (https://cozumelparks.com/)
“I, therefore, wish to inform you that the rejection of the old N1,000, N500 and N200 notes by us will do us no good. It will stifle our local trade and business transactions, weaken our economy and cause us great harm and avoidable troubles.
President Muhammadu Buhari might be prosecuted for not complying with the order of the Supreme Court over the new naira policy, according to a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Rasheed Adegoke.
The new naira policy which was introduced by the Central Bank of Nigeria has been heavily criticized due to the untold hardship it has subjected Nigerians to in the past two months.
Naija News recalls that most Nigerians had to take their old naira notes to the bank in anticipation of getting the new notes. However, the majority of Nigerians were unable to access the notes.
To make matters worst for most Nigerians, they had to buy the new notes by paying between 10 to 20 percent on every withdrawal.
Due to the hardship the new naira policy has brought to Nigerians, some state governors dragged the federal government to the Supreme Court.
After a series of back and forth, the apex court ruled that the federal government should allow the old notes to remain in circulation until December 31, 2023.
Since the Supreme Court made this order over five days ago, the federal government led by President Buhari has not made an official statement directing the banks to start paying out the old notes.
This is seen as disobedience to the order of the highest court in the land and Rasheed Adegoke (SAN) argued that such disobedience could lead to the prosecution of Buhari after he hands over power on May 29.
The Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC), Itse Sagay (SAN) has said the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele is in contempt for his silence over the ruling of the Supreme Court.
Naija News reported last week Friday that the apex court nullified the federal government’s naira redesigned policy while insisting that the old N200, N500 and N1,000 notes would remain legal tender until December 31 and co-exist with the new ones.
However, the apex bank has been silent over the court’s directive since last, a development that has stirred confusion within banks and among Nigerians.
But the eminent professor of law at a media parley in Lagos on the activities of PACAC said the CBN boss is in contempt if he is yet to issue directives to banks to pay and accept old N1,000 and N500 notes as ordered by the Supreme Court.
Sagay said “Every decision of the Supreme Court is binding on everybody, including the government, its agencies and the President.
“The only thing is that nothing can be done if the President decides to disregard it because of his immunity, but he is bound by law.
“The CBN does not need anyone to give it instructions to obey a judgment because it is an agency of the Federal Government.
“So, if the CBN has not yet directed banks to obey the Supreme Court decision, it means that the governor Godwin Emefiele is committing contempt of court and there could be consequences for that.”