The governor of Ondo state, Rotimi Akeredolu, has requested that the federal government adhere to the supreme court’s judgement over the execution of the naira redesign strategy.
A seven-member panel of the country’s highest court ruled on Friday that the old N200, N500, and N1000 banknotes will remain legal money until December 31, 2023.
The verdict reversed the directive issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria, which President Muhammadu Buhari had supported. The president had maintained that old N500 and N1,000 notes were no longer legal cash, with the deadline for N200 set for April 10th.
In a statement released on Friday, Akeredolu stated that the apex court’s decision is consistent with Ondo state’s stance on the subject.
He said that Godwin Emefiele, governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), and Abubakar Malami, attorney-general of the federation (AGF), advised the president to “take emperor-like powers.”
“We applaud the diligence and boldness of the Supreme Court justices for their well-reasoned decision,” added Akeredolu.
The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), and the Minister of Justice (Minister of Justice) misadvised the President to assume the powers of an Emperor accountable to no one but himself and the law.
The governor noted the frightening rate at which small enterprises are failing.
“We have been regaled with tales of the dehumanization of ordinary Nigerians, who were compelled to strip nude and weep in banking halls in order to receive their bank-held funds. Some people have died needlessly because they were unable to access their bank deposits on demand, he said.
“The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria acted in the most irresponsible manner when he claimed to be exercising powers that the CBN Act does not confer on his office.
“He was quoted as stating he was working against corruption, money laundering, and vote-buying. He acted beyond his authority, prompted by his political permutations.
“The AGF similarly deceived the President to exceed the scope of his administrative authority. Nigerians have been unfairly punished.
“As stated by the Supreme Court, the law must be permitted to govern. The Constitution of 1999, as modified, assigns statutory functions to various entities.
If individuals in positions of authority engage in less mischief, said Akeredolu, the letter of the law is clear and unambiguous.
Hence, he ordered the federal government to “immediately comply with the Supreme Court’s verdict as it has no other choice.”
“We commend the states that challenged the implementation of this abhorrent policy and hope that our banks will immediately release the deposits of Nigerians in their custody upon demand, as there will be significant consequences for the prolonged seizure of individuals’ hard-earned funds,” he stated.
“It is useless to assert the obvious. It is possible that the entire policy was well-conceived. Its execution has been influenced by politics.
“The Governor of the CBN is a supporter of injustice and oppression. The majority of governments, with the possible exception of a minuscule number motivated by the chance of obtaining unstated political advantages, are unable to fulfill even the most fundamental commitments to their subjects. It is quite regrettable.
“The Ondo State Government will not hesitate to take action against persons and institutions whose actions impede its ability to fulfill its statutory obligations to the people, even as we urge those Federal Government officials who may be directly involved in implementing the spirit and letter of the Supreme Court ruling to do so immediately.”
Akeredolu stated that there is no justification for the suffering endured by Nigerians for “obviously political motives.”