President Muhammadu Buhari responded to the Supreme Court’s ruling on the old N500 and N1,000 notes by stating that he never instructed the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) or the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to disregard the court decision.
The President stated that it was not in his nature to instruct his staff to disregard court rulings affecting the government and third parties.
According to a statement released by presidential spokesman Garba Shehu on Monday evening, President Buhari has never directed anyone to disobey court orders since he was sworn into office in 2015. He believes that democracy cannot be practiced without the rule of law, and his administration’s commitment to this principle has not changed.
According to him: “In light of the ongoing heated debate over the legitimacy of the old currency notes, the Presidency wishes to emphasize unequivocally that President Buhari has not interfered with or obstructed the administration of justice.
“The President is not a micromanager and will therefore not prevent the Attorney General and the CBN Governor from carrying out the specifics of their legal responsibilities. In any instance, it is currently arguable whether there is evidence of wilful denial by the two parties in response to directives from the supreme court.
“The President’s directive, following the meeting of the Council of State, is that the Bank must make the necessary funds available for circulation, and nothing has occurred to alter this position.
“It is a well-established fact that the President respects the judicial process and the authority of the courts without exception.
The Presidential aide stated, “He has done nothing in the last eight or so years to obstruct the administration of justice, undermine confidence in the administration of justice, or otherwise interfere with or corrupt the courts, and there is no reason for him to do so now as he prepares to leave office.”
The presidential spokesman stated that the negative campaign and personal assaults against the President by the opposition and various commentators were unfair and wrong because no court order has been issued or addressed at Buhari personally.
As for the cashless system that the CBN is determined to implement, Shehu stated that it is a known fact that many of the country’s citizens who bear the brunt of the suffering support the policy because they believe it will reduce corruption, combat terrorism, create an environment of honesty, and strengthen the President’s incorruptible leadership.
“Despite the Supreme Court’s ruling, it is erroneous to blame the President for the current dispute over the cash shortage.
“The CBN has no reason to delay complying with court rulings while awaiting directives from the President,” he continued.
President Buhari has also refuted the notion that he lacks compassion, stating that “no government in our recent history has implemented initiatives to assist economically marginalized and disadvantaged populations like the current administration.”