………………….Apex court to rule March 3
By Ademola Adeleye
There is no respite yet for Nigerians after the Supreme Court on Wednesday adjourned ruling over the case instituted by some states government over naira redesign policy of the federal government.
The apex court said it would rule on the matter on March 3, 2023 through its seven-member panel.
It will be noted that some governors of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) had taken the government to court over the policy insisting it is causing untold hardship to the masses and designed to make the ruling party unpopular ahead of the February 25, general elections.
The suit which was initiated by Kaduna, Kogi and Zamfara states was joined on Wednesday by Rivers, Kano, Niger, Jigawa, Nasarawa, and Abia taking the states to 16 in number. Other states who have asked to be joined in the suit include: Ondo, Ekiti, Katsina, Ogun, Cross River, Lagos, and Sokoto , while Edo and Bayelsa states joined as defendants.
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The states wanted to refrain the federal government from effecting the deadline of February 10 on the use of the old N200, N500 and N1,000 notes in the country.
But this announcement would come as a huge disappointment to the governors who may have banked on the ruling to get logistics for the election. The APC believe the policy was targeted at the party’s flagbearer, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu who many believed had stocked up cash to buy the election.
It was also a huge disappointment for many Nigerians who had hoped the court would reverse the policy thereby allowing them have access to the old notes. The cash crunch has nearly ruined the small and medium scale sector while the informal sector has taken a great hit since January 2023.
The arguments of the states
It was a battle of wits at the supreme court as representatives of the different states battled to set aside directives on the naira redesign policy with Kaduna and Kogi states represented by Abdulhakeem Mustapha asking the apex court to set aside the preliminary objection of the AGF in opposition to the suit for being in contempt of the supreme court order of February 8.
Jigawa state, represented by Abiodun Owonikoko, asked the court to set aside the directive in President Muhammadu Buhari’s speech delivered on February 15.
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“We urge the court to set aside the directive of President Buhari limiting the supreme court’s directive to only the old N200 note. It is a disrespect to the authority of the court,” he said.
Moyosore Onigbanjo, attorney-general of Lagos, asked the court to prohibit the AGF or his principal, President Buhari, from being granted an audience until they comply with the order made on February 8.
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