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ACF cautions Buhari, says ‘failure to obey S’ Court order on Naira swap damaging to president’s reputation’

Anthony Iwuoma

The Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) has warned President Muhammadu Buhari against refusal to obey the Supreme Court ruling on the Naira redesign, saying warning the president’s reputation as a democrat and supporter of rule of law is at stake.

The apex court had, on March 3, 2023, declared illegal the Federal Government’s ban on old N1,000 and N500 notes and ordered that the old and new notes should circulate simultaneously as legal tender till December 31, 2023.

However, the Federal Government is yet to respond or act upon the ruling thereby throwing Nigerians into untold hardship.

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Weighing in on the matter, the ACF Secretary General, Malam Murtala M. Aliyu, in a statement on Sunday said 10 days after the Supreme Court ruling, the federal government should have ordered the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to implement the court order to avoid contempt of the apex court.

Moreover, he added, this would portray the government as a respected of the Rule of Law and prevent tarnishing President Buhari’s reputation.

“Some 10 days ago, the Supreme Court of Nigeria held that the President, Muhammadu Buhari, breached the Constitution of Nigeria in the way he issued a directive to the CBN for the redesign of the Naira without consulting with the National Council of States and the Federal Executive Council. It went further to rule that the unconstitutional use of powers by the president on the Naira redesign has breached the fundamental rights of Nigerian citizens in various ways,” the statement read.

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“The state governors have persistently argued that the policy which permitted the CBN to place an embargo on the circulation of old N500 and N1,000 notes, while not providing their replacement in sufficient amounts, had triggered severe cash shortage and chaos in the economy. It has led to runaway inflation in food and other commodities.

“Huge crowds and long queues form around bank offices and ATM points across the country as people struggle to get the new cash which have remained extremely scarce. It has triggered riots and other forms of civil unrest. The current approach of the CBN, according to the governors, raises concerns about the respect for the civil liberties and rights of Nigerians as it relates to their freedom to use legitimately earned income as they so wish.”