Naira swap: Akeredolu hails Supreme Court judgment
… lambasts CBN Governor, AGF
By Adekola Afolabi
Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State has saluted the industry and courage of the Justices of the Supreme Court for nullifying the CBN naira redesign policy which has crippled many Nigerians and businesses in the last few months.
The Supreme Court on Friday ordered that the old naira notes including N200, N500 and N1000 notes should remain legal tender till December 31 this year.
Reacting to the judgement, Governor Akeredolu revealed that the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele and the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, misadvised the President to assume powers of an Emperor answerable only to himself and no other authorities as enshrined in the law
Akeredolu who noted that the Government and the people of Ondo State received the news the ruling of apex court with great relief, explained that Nigerians have been punished unduly as a result of the CBN naira redesign policy.
The Governor, in a statement he personally signed on Friday evening advised the Federal Government to obey the ruling of the Supreme Court immediately as there is no other alternative open to it.
“The Government and the people of Ondo State received the news of the ruling of the Supreme Court on the punitive implementation of a monetary policy, hurriedly packaged to achieve a pernicious end by Mr Godwin Emefiele, with great relief. The position of the apex Court is in tandem with our press releases on the subject matter.
“We salute the industry and courage of the Justices of the Supreme Court for the well-considered ruling.
“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.
“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.
“We enjoin the Federal Government to obey the ruling of the Supreme Court immediately as there is no other alternative open to it.
We congratulate the States which challenged this obnoxious policy implementation and hope that our banks will release the deposits of Nigerians in their custody upon demand forthwith as there will be grave consequences for continued seizure of the hard-earned monies of citizens.
“There is no gain asserting the obvious. The whole policy may have been well conceived. Its implementation has been politically driven. The CBN Governor is a partisan of injustice and oppression. Most Governments, perhaps with the exception of a negligible few motivated by the possibility of deriving unexpressed political advantages, cannot meet simple obligations to their citizens. It is most unfortunate.
“As we enjoin the officials of the Federal Government who may be directly involved in putting into effect the spirit and the letter of the Supreme Court ruling to do so immediately, 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”, the statement said.