The Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, has urged the Federal Government and the Central Bank of Nigeria to immediately comply with Friday’s ruling of the Supreme Court on the naira redesign policy.
The governor also accused the CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele, and the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, of misleading President Muhammadu Buhari on the policy.
Mr Akeredolu’s reaction was contained in a statement he personally signed and issued on Friday in Akure.
He said he received the Supreme Court ruling with great relief and commended the judges for their industry and courage.
“We enjoin the Federal Government to obey the ruling of the Supreme Court immediately as there is no other alternative open to it,” he said.
“The CBN Governor and the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice misadvised the President to assume powers of an Emperor answerable only to himself and no other authorities as enshrined in the law,” Mr Akeredolu said.
“It is deplorable to witness small businesses collapse with unbelievable rapidity. We have been regaled with tales of the dehumanisation of ordinary Nigerians who have been forced to strip themselves naked in banking halls weeping to be given their monies kept with the banks.
“Some have lost their lives, needlessly, for being unable to access their deposits in the banks upon demand.
“The Governor of the CBN acted most irresponsibly when he claimed to be exercising powers, which the CBN Act does not invest in his office.
“He was quoted as saying that he was fighting corruption, money laundering and vote-buying. He acted, ultra vires, goaded by his political permutations.
“The AGF equally misled the President to act beyond the limits of his executive powers. Nigerians have been punished unduly. As the Supreme Court has pronounced, the law must be allowed to rule.
“There are statutory functions allotted to bodies in the 1999 Constitution, as amended. These bodies must be allowed to exercise those functions. Anyone purporting to act in contravention of the extant laws does so, either ignorantly or mischievously. The letters of the law are simple and understandable if the people in authority embrace less mischief.
While urging the federal government and the CBN to obey the apex court’s ruling, the governor said the Ondo State Government will not hesitate to proceed against persons and institutions whose activities impede its ability to discharge statutory obligations to the people.
“There is no justification for the pains to which our people have been subjected for obvious political reasons,” he added.
PREMIUM TIMES reported that the Supreme Court on Friday nullified the withdrawal of the N200, N500, and N1,000 banknotes from circulation, describing it as illegal.
A seven-member panel of the court led by John Okoro said in a unanimous judgement that President Muhammadu Buhari issued the directive without consultation.
The court held that the federal government ought to have consulted with the state governments through the relevant bodies such as the National Council of States and the National Economic Council before embarking on such a policy.
It also issued an order nullifying the withdrawal of the old Naira notes from circulation and extended their legal tender status till 31 December.
The court also described as illegal the withdrawal limits set by the CBN.
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