During the 67th ministerial press briefing at the state house, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, asserted that President Muhammadu Buhari did not violate the Supreme Court’s injunction concerning the Naira redesign and currency swap issue.
Malami emphasized that several options are available as far as the rule of law is concerned.
In a previous broadcast, the President only reinstated the validity of the old 200 notes and declared that the old 500 and 1000 notes were no longer valid, which elicited a range of reactions across the country. However, in response to the President’s action, Professor Mike Ozekhome, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, stated that Buhari has no authority to override the Supreme Court of Nigeria and labeled his national broadcast on the issue as a military tyrant’s consideration, claiming that the President’s “imperious order was a frontal call to chaos, anarchy and national upheaval.”
In the meantime, ten states have requested that the Supreme Court nullify President Muhammadu Buhari’s proclamation prohibiting old N500 and N1,000 notes, according to Suit No SC/CV/162/2023 filed by their counsel, A.J. Owonikoko (SAN), on Friday. The plaintiffs, who are the Attorneys General of Kaduna, Kogi, Zamfara, Ondo, Ekiti, Katsina, Ogun, Cross River, Sokoto, and Lagos states, want the apex court to declare the President’s directives in his Thursday’s broadcast unconstitutional.
The applicants’ counsel cited the 1999 Constitution as amended, which protects the Supreme Court’s dignity and ensures compliance with its orders by all persons and authorities, as well as Section 232(1), Section 6(6)(b), and Section 287(1).
The relief asserted that the substantive first defendant, through the President of the Federation and its agent, the Central Bank of Nigeria, has repeatedly issued statements that the old Naira Notes are no longer legal tender, resulting in misleading the public on what the status quo to be complied with should be, pendente lite.