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Rotimi Akeredolu, the governor of Ondo state, has asked the federal government to obey the supreme court ruling on the implementation of the naira redesign policy.

On Friday, a seven-member panel of the apex court held that the old N200, N500 and N1000 notes remain legal tender until December 31, 2023.

The ruling overturned the Central Bank of Nigeria’s directive, which President Muhammadu Buhari had backed. The president had maintained that old N500 and N1,000 notes were no longer legal tender, with April 10 fixed as the deadline for N200.

Akeredolu, in a statement issued on Friday, said the decision of the apex court is in tandem with Ondo state’s position on the issue.
He said Godwin Emefiele, CBN governor, and Abubakar Malami, the attorney-general of the federation (AGF), “misadvised” the president to “assume powers of an emperor”.

“We salute the industry and courage of the Justices of the Supreme Court for the well-considered ruling,” Akeredolu said.

“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.”
The governor lamented that small businesses are collapsing at an alarming rate.

“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,” he said.

“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.”

‘LETTERS OF THE LAW ARE SIMPLE’

If those in positions of authority embrace less mischief, Akeredolu said, the letter of the law is straightforward and understandable.
Consequently, he enjoined 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,” he said.

“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.”

Akeredolu added that there is no justification for the pains to which Nigerians have been subjected for “obvious political reasons”.

The Cable

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