State governments, which sued the Federal Government on the naira redesign policy, have given the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN, and the Central Bank of Nigeria Governor, Godwin Emefiele, till Tuesday to comply with the order of the Supreme Court on the currency.
The state governments threatened to file contempt charges against the two top officials on Tuesday should they fail to obey the apex court which ordered that the old N1,000, N500 and N200 should be in circulation alongside the new notes till December 31, 2023.
Over one week after the court handed down the order, the AGF and the CBN have kept mum over the verdict. Their silence has emboldened Nigerians and businesses to reject the old notes as legal tender.
The counsel for Kaduna, Kogi and Zamfara states, which dragged the Federal Government before the Supreme Court on the matter, Abdulhakeem Mustapha (SAN), disclosed that Malami was served with the enrolled order and the CTC of the judgment on Friday afternoon, adding that he expected immediate compliance with the judgment as the non-service of the documents had given the government and the CBN an escape route.
Mustapha said, “The Attorney-General of the Federation has been served now and we will take it up from there; if there is no compliance now, we will commence committal proceedings against the attorney-general and the CBN governor.”
But giving an update on the move to enforce compliance with the order of the apex court on Sunday, the Zamfara State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Junaidu Aminu, revealed that since the Federal Government had refused to implement the judgment, the plaintiffs in the suit would approach the court again to ensure compliance with the court’s order.
The Zamfara State justice commissioner explained that it was the duty of the AGF to direct the CBN governor to implement the court’s verdict on the naira notes.
Aminu further said, “The Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, is the one who should direct the CBN to comply with the Supreme Court’s verdict and allow the old naira notes to remain legal tender until December 31.”
Explaining why the CBN governor was not a party in the matter, he stated, “The matter is between some states and the Federal Government. The CBN governor is an ordinary civil servant who receives directives from the Federal Government.”