Naira redesign may be declared illegal if challenged in court -Falana

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Femi Falana, human rights lawyer, says the redesign of the naira may be illegal if President Muhammadu Buhari did not seek approval of the national assembly for the funds used for the initiative.

 

On November 23, Buhari unveiled the new currency notes at the state house, Abuja.

 

The redesigned naira notes are expected to be in circulation on December 15.

 

Godwin Emefiele, governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), had on October 26 announced the plan to redesign the naira to control money supply and aid security agencies in tackling illicit financial flows.

 

Falana, in a statement on Sunday, said the president’s endorsement of the CBN’s naira redesign policy is not legally sufficient.

 

He said the president should have presented a “money bill” to the national assembly to seek approval for the funds used for the project.

 

Falana said the expense is not captured in the 2022 budget, adding that the president must comply with the provision of section 59 of the 1999 constitution (as amended).

 

 “However, the official endorsement is not sufficient as the president is mandatorily required to present a money bill to the national assembly for the withdrawal of the billions of naira from public funds earmarked for the printing of the new naira notes,” the statement reads.

 

“Specifically, section 59 of the constitution requires “an appropriation bill or supplementary bill including any other bill for the payment, issue or withdrawal from the Consolidated Revenue Fund or any other public fund of the Federation of any money charged thereon or any alteration in the amount of such payment, issue or withdrawal.

 

“Since the fund for the printing of the new naira notes is not captured in the 2022 appropriation bill, the president is advised to prepare and present a supplementary bill to the national assembly to authorise the withdrawal of public fund from any account of the federation for printing the new naira notes.

 

“Otherwise, the printing of the new naira without appropriation by the national assembly may be declared illegal and unconstitutional if it is challenged in a court of competent jurisdiction.”


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