Naira redesign: We won’t be your scapegoat, supreme court tells FG, states


The supreme court says it would not allow the federal government and states to use the judiciary as a scapegoat in the legal dispute regarding the naira redesign policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).


A seven-member panel of the court headed by Inyang Okoro said this on Wednesday while consolidating various suits filed by different states seeking to stop the full implementation of the naira redesign policy.


“We want to make it very clear that we are going to hear this matter today because we don’t want a situation where the judiciary will be made a scapegoat,” Okoro said.


“With the way this matter is going, they are looking for a scapegoat and we refuse to be that scapegoat.


 “We are going to hear everything and take our decision. If you have a contempt proceeding, we will also hear it today.”


Six more states — Rivers, Kano, Niger, Jigawa, Nasarawa, and Abia — joined the suit when it came up for hearing, making a total of 16 states.


Commenting on the action, Kanu Agabi, the lawyer representing the federal government, said the plaintiffs are “crying in the wrong place”.


 “If your lordships hold that the reliefs sought by the plaintiffs are rooted in section 20(3) of the CBN Act, then the process cannot be heard in this court,” he said.


“The supreme court cannot assume original jurisdiction. They are crying in the wrong place.”


Continuing, he said the plaintiffs made reference to the CBN 32 times in their originating summons and written affidavits.


“Why not bring the CBN in? Seven out of eight of their reliefs is against the CBN,” he said,


 “Long before the order of the supreme court, Nigerians have been rejecting old notes. Even in this supreme court, they don’t collect it when we file processes.”


After taking arguments from representatives of the states, the matter was adjourned to March 3 for judgment.

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