Lawyers and litigants in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, have expressed frustration over their inability to file court proceedings as a result of the scarcity of new naira notes.
The News Agency of Nigeria interviewed some lawyers on Sunday and gathered that the lawyers in Abuja were worried as the situation is affecting their legal practice.
Mr Cleansman Ogidi, at the Federal High Court, Maitama, told NAN that the situation had caused delay and obstruction to most lawyers in the filing of proceedings in the courts.
Ogidi said he intended filing a motion on notice, but could not because the money was not available to pay for the filing fees.
According to him, since the issue of this currency swap, we are not finding things easy in the courts, it’s not only this High Court, even other courts in the FCT.
“We don’t have the cash to process proceedings and if we want to do an online payment, the network is not easy to access.
“The Point Of Service operators don’t also have the cash to give their customers.
“I know how much I spent fueling my vehicle to ensure that I come to court to file proceedings, but at the end of the day, I will not achieve anything.
“The situation has led to delays in most of the cases I am attending to in the court. This is too frustrating and worrisome,” he said.
Mr Joseph Udoh, one of Ogidi’s clients, said he lives in Gwagwalada and attends Maitama court almost every week because of a particular case.
“I have spent so much money in transportation and other logistics, I am not finding it easy because of this currency swap.
“Now I cannot access the new money to pay my lawyer and if I don’t pay him, he might decide to abandon the case,” he said.
Another lawyer, Mr Wilson Adodo, in Karu, FCT Magistrate’s Court, said he was frustrated because of the inability to make payment online for filing fees to enable him file application for bail.
According to him, “as long as I am not able to file the application for bail, my client will remain in prison custody.
Adodo appealed to the Central Bank of Nigeria and relevant authorities to circulate more new notes to the public, adding that the effort would ease the suffering of poor Nigerians.
Also, a business woman in the FCT, Mrs Roseline Eduwah, said she lost her handset and Permanent Voters Card, and issuing authority demanded for court affidavit.
Eduwah said that she went to FCT High Court, Maitama, to get the affidavit, but could not obtain it.
“This is because I did not have the new naira notes and my effort to make online payment was frustrated.
“I went to about four different banks, I could not get any money to obtain the affidavit.
“Even as I am talking, I don’t have a cell phone, I have lost my PVC and don’t know how I will cast my vote without the PVC.
“I pray the situation will come down so that the problem can be rectified,” she said.
A civil servant, Mr Aaron Ugwu, who was preparing for his retirement, expressed displeasure over the currency swap.
Ugwu said he spent over six hours in First Bank while he was looking for new notes to obtain affidavit in the court.
“I queued at the First Bank in Commasse House, Central Area in Abuja, just for N5000, but at the end of the day, I could not get the money.
“I cannot go back to the court for the affidavit, I needed the court affidavit to correct my name in the record in my office.
“The spelling of my middle name in my National Identity Card is different from the one in my office record. I needed an affidavit to correct it, as I am about to retire,” he said.