The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami and the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele have been given a Tuesday ultimatum to comply with the order of the Supreme Court on the naira policy.
The state governments that sued the Federal Government on the naira redesign policy gave the ultimatum.
The state governments threatened to file contempt charges against Malami and Emefiele on Tuesday if they fail to obey the ruling of the apex court.
Recall that the Supreme Court had ordered that the old N1,000, N500 and N200 should be in circulation alongside the new notes till December 31, 2023.
However, days after the ruling of the apex court, Malami and the CBN had been silent over the verdict.
The Federal Government on Friday was served with the enrolled order and Certified True Copy of the Supreme Court judgment ordering the use of old notes as legal tender for 10 months.
According to Punch, the counsel for Kaduna, Kogi and Zamfara states, which dragged the Federal Government before the Supreme Court on the matter, Abdulhakeem Mustapha (SAN), disclosed that Malami was served with the enrolled order and the CTC of the judgment on Friday afternoon.
Mustapha noted that he expected immediate compliance with the judgment as the non-service of the documents had given the government and the CBN an escape route.
He said, “The Attorney-General of the Federation has been served now and we will take it up from there; if there is no compliance now, we will commence committal proceedings against the attorney-general and the CBN governor.”
The Zamfara State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Junaidu Aminu speaking on the failure of the Federal Government to comply with the apex court ruling said the plaintiffs in the suit would approach the court again to ensure compliance with the court’s order.
Aminu while speaking with Punch said that the states would file contempt charges against the Federal Government on Tuesday.
He said, “We have just served the Attorney General of the Federation with the Certified True Copy of the Enrolled Order of the Supreme Court last Friday. We are waiting for them to respect the court’s decision on the naira notes and comply with the decision. If they fail to comply on Monday, we are filing our case on Tuesday.”
The AG insisted that Emefiele must address Nigerians on the naira notes issued on or before Monday (today), noting that “that is what Nigerians are waiting for.”
“If he fails to do so, we will go back to court again to sue him and the Federal Government on contempt charges.”
The Zamfara State justice commissioner explained that it was the duty of the AGF to direct the CBN governor to implement the court’s verdict on the naira notes.
Aminu further said, “The Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, is the one who should direct the CBN to comply with the Supreme Court’s verdict and allow the old naira notes to remain legal tender until December 31.”
Explaining why the CBN governor was not a party in the matter, he stated, “The matter is between some states and the Federal Government. The CBN governor is an ordinary civil servant who receives directives from the Federal Government.”
The Ekiti State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Dayo Apata (SAN) while speaking with Punch also said the state would align with other states on whatever legal steps would make the Federal Government comply with the Supreme Court judgment on the naira redesign and cash swap policy.
Apata said, “Definitely, we are all in the same boat and what is important to us is to ensure compliance with the court order. So, whatever we will do legally that will make the parties comply, we will align with it.
“Whatever that is going to be legally possible for us to achieve the aims and objectives of our going to court, we will align with other states.”
The likes of Kogi State, Cross River State and Ondo State vowed to join the suit if filed against Malami and Emefiele.