THREE governors of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) have sued the Federal Government over the naira redesign policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
The issue of naira redesign has generated tension in the country owing to the scarcity of new notes.
Governors Nasir El-Rufai (Kaduna), Yahaya Bello (Kogi) and Bello Matawalle (Zamfara) dragged the Federal government before the Supreme Court.
The states are seeking a declaration that the Demonetization Policy of the Federation being currently carried out by the CBN under the directive of President Muhammadu Buhari is not in compliance with the extant provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), Central Bank of Nigeria Act, 2007 and actual laws on the subject.
They are also asking the court to make a declaration that the three-month notice given by the FGN and the CBN under the directive of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the expiration of which will render the old bank notes inadmissible as legal tender, is in gross violation of the provisions of Section 20(3) of the Central Bank of Nigeria Act 2007 which specifies that reasonable notice must be given before such a policy and that the limit cannot be outside that provided under Section Section 22(1) of the CBN Act 2007.
The Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Kaduna State, Aisha Dikko, in an affidavit, averred that although the naira redesign policy was introduced to encourage the cashless policy of the federal government, it is not all transactions that can be conveniently carried out through electronic means.
Dikko also pointed out that the federal government has embarked on the policy within a narrow and unworkable time frame, and this has adversely affected Nigerian citizens within Kaduna, Kogi and Zamfara states as well as their governments, especially as the newly redesigned naira notes are not available for use by the people as well as the state governments.
“That the majority of the indigenes of the plaintiffs’ states who reside in the rural areas have been unable to exchange or deposit their old naira notes as there are no banks in the rural areas where the majority of the population of the states reside,” she averred.
No date has been fixed for hearing.
Governors of the ruling party had met with the President last week and pleaded with him to allow old notes and the new ones co exist.
The president told them to give him seven days to look into the issues arising from naira redesign.
However, after the meeting, Godwin Emefiele, CBN governor, warned that the apex bank was not considering shifting the February 10 deadline for the old notes to cease being legal tender.