Court bars Buhari, Emefiele, others from extending old naira deadline

...asks bank CEOs to defend hoarding of new notes

The High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) has restrained President Muhammadu Buhari, Godwin Emefiele, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, and 27 commercial banks from suspending, stopping, extending or interfering with the currency redesign (old naira) deadline of February 10.

The court presided by Justice Enenche gave the order while ruling on a motion filed by some political parties including, Action Alliance, Action Peoples Party, Allied People’s Movement and National Rescue Movement.

The Court also granted an order directing the Chief Executive Officers of the banks to show cause why they should not be arrested and prosecuted for the economic and financial sabotage of the country by their illegal hoarding, withholding, not paying or disbursing the new N200 N500 and N1000 bank notes despite supply of such notes by the CBN.

Read also: Nigerians flock to Opay, Palmpay, others amid naira crunch

The court judgement came on the heels of purported attempts by governors of some states to make the president to reverse the policy or at least extend same.

A cross section of Lawyers, Civil Society Organisations and ethnic youth groups hailed the order, saying it was best for the country and would afford the stakeholders opportunity to now concentrate on how to ameliorate the hardship occasioned by the policy.

Groups, including Arewa Consultative Youth Movement, Ohanaeze Youth Movement, Oduduwa Youth Assembly all hailed the order.

Arewa youths said that looters of the common wealth of the people have lost out while Ohanaeze youths insisted that vote buyers and election riggers have been relegated just.
Oduduwa youths opined that kickbacks will be very difficult now, corruption greatly limited and chance for money laundering made slimmer.

Also, a continental civil society organization, the African Centre for Justice and Human Rights said the order of the court is the first step in sanitizing the country’s financial market and help in conducting very credible polls as politicians will find it extremely difficult if not impossible to have access to cash to compromise elections.

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