Widely Read Magazine in Nigeria

Supreme Court To Deliver Judgement On Naira Swap Today


Supreme Court To Deliver Judgement On Naira Swap Today

Anxiety has gripped some Nigerians as they await the Supreme Court’s ruling in the cases filed by some states to challenge the constitutionality of the Federal Government’s Naira swap policy.

After hearing final arguments on February 22, a 9-member panel of the Supreme Court, led by Justice John Okoro, fixed judgement for March 3 for final judgement.

Kaduna, Kogi, Zamfara, Katsina, Lagos, Cross River, Ogun, Ekiti, Ondo, Sokoto, Rivers, Kano, Niger, Jigawa, Nasarawa, Plateau, and Abia states are the plaintiffs in the cases.

Read Also: Adamawa LP Rejects Governorship Candidate

Following an application by Bayelsa and Edo states, the court joined the two states as co-defendants with the original sole defendant, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN on February 15.

In his final submission, Abdulhakeem Mustapha (SAN), the lawyer for Kaduna and Kogi states, urged the court to grant all of the reliefs sought in his clients’ suit and dismiss the notices of objection filed by the AGF and Bayelsa State.

But Abiodun Owonikoko (SAN), a lawyer for Zamfara State, who adopted Mustapha’s arguments, said his client also filed an application on February 17 asking the court to set aside President Muhammadu Buhari’s directive on February 16 directing that only N200 notes be used, despite the court’s pending order.

Owonikoko added that the Federal Government’s naira redesign policy violated Section 17(2)(c) of the Constitution, which states that government actions must be humane. He also stated that the policy has caused hardship for the people.

The Attorney General of Lagos State, Moyosore Onigbanjo (SAN), who represented the state, noted that his office filed several documents in the case.

According to him, one of these documents is a motion seeking an order prohibiting the defendant/respondent (the AGF) from being granted an audience before this court until the defendant or his principal, the President of Nigeria, complies with the order issued by this court on February 8th, directing that the old notes remain legal tender until the suit is resolved.

Onigbanjo said that the Lagos suit was distinct from those filed by other states in that it sought relief for the state of Lagos rather than the people of the state.

He stated that the suit was motivated by the fact that the Naira redesign was interfering with the government of Lagos State’s ability to perform its functions and meet its responsibilities.

He, therefore urged the court to deny the AGF audience and grant the prayers requested in the suit. Samuel Ologunorisa (SAN), who represented Katsina; Shuaibu Abuwa (SAN) for Cross River; Tunde Afe Babalola SAN, for Ogun); O. O. Olowolafe SAN for Ekiti; Charles Titiloye SAN for Ondo and Georgina Udeh for Sokoto State, all urged the court to dismiss the objection raised against the suit by the AGF and Bayelsa State and proceeded to grant all the reliefs sought in the suit by Kaduna, Kogi and Zamfara states. Rivers, Kano, Jigawa, Nasarawa, and Abia argued in separate cases that were consolidated with the case by Kaduna, Kogi, and Zamfara stating that the policy was unconstitutional and should be repealed.

The AGF, Bayelsa, and Edo states, represented by Kanu Agabi (SAN), Tijani Gazali (SAN), Kenneth Mozia (SAN), and Audu Anuga (SAN), urged the court to dismiss the suit for lack of jurisdiction and incompetence.

Agabi, who also claimed that the necessary parties were not present in court, criticised the absence of the CBN governor as a party in the suit. He noted that the plaintiff’s originating summons and supporting affidavit made 32 references to the CBN, while seven reliefs were sought against the apex bank, which was not made a party in the suit.

Agabi, who stated that his client filed a motion on notice seeking the dismissal of Form 48 issued on the AGF and the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, also stated that an affidavit to show cause why Form 48 should be set aside was also filed.

He contended that President Buhari’s February 16 broadcast did not violate the court’s order, insisting that it was a necessary intervention.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.

%d bloggers like this: