Governors Give Malami, Emefiele Tuesday Ultimatum To Obey Supreme Court

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The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN, and the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, have been given until Tuesday to abide by the Supreme Court’s ruling on the naira redesign policy after the State Governments sued the Federal Government over the policy.

The state governments warned the two senior officials on Tuesday that if they disobeyed the highest court’s judgment that the old N1,000, N500, and N200 notes should stay in circulation alongside the new ones until December 31, 2023, they would be charged with contempt.

The AGF and the CBN have not commented on the ruling for more than a week after the court issued its judgement. Nigerians and companies have been encouraged by their silence to reject the old notes as lawful money.

the enrolled order and certified true copy of the Supreme Court decision authorizing the use of old notes as lawful money for 10 months had been served to the Federal Government on Friday.

Abdulhakeem Mustapha (SAN), the attorney for the states of Kaduna, Kogi, and Zamfara, which brought the Federal Government before the Supreme Court regarding the matter, revealed that Malami received the enrolled order and the CTC of the judgment on Friday afternoon and that he expected immediate compliance with the ruling due to the non-service of the documents had given the government and the CBN an escape route.

Mustapha 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.”

However, providing an update on efforts to ensure adherence to the Supreme Court’s order on Sunday, Zamfara State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Junaidu Aminu, disclosed that since the Federal Government had refused to carry out the ruling, the suit’s plaintiffs would reapply to the court to ensure adherence to the ruling.

Aminu predicted that on Tuesday, the states will accuse the federal government of being in contempt.

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,’’ he warned.

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.”

Ekiti State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Dayo Apata, SAN, 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.’’

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