CIVIL society organizations (CSO) in the Nigeria have taken President Muhammadu Buhari to task over his contravention of the Supreme Court’s instruction to pause the government directive on use of old and new naira notes.
The coalition of CSOs, led by the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), on Monday, described the government policy on the naira as shoddy “in implementation, resulting in avoidable scarcity of the redesigned denominations of the currency.”
In an address on Monday, the coalition implored the government to alleviate the crushing discomfort the implementation of policy has imposed on Nigerians who cannot have access to the hard earned funds.
According to the CSOs the prevailing the monetary policy has come at time the citizenry were dealing with increasing high cost of living attendant upon fuel scarcity and high cost of living.
In the address signed by over 30 organizations, the coalition wondered why President would disobey an order of the apex court.
It stated: “The Federal Government outrightly refused to, and even countermand, the pronouncement of the Supreme Court on the deadline for the status of the old denominations of the Naira as legal tender,” while noting that the functionality of democracy is hinged on separation of powers between the executive, legislature and judiciary.
According to the CSOs, the president’s action added to that of the govenor of the Central Bank Godwin Emefiele, “amounts not only to a clear and precipitate undermining of the rule of law, but also a wanton disregard for the principles of the separation of powers.”
They therefore called on the government to “respect and uphold the pronouncement of the Supreme Court on the old denominations of the naira.
“We call on the Presidency to uphold the rule of law, and not to take any steps that will further undermine the system of separation of powers between the branches of government.
“We call for anyone who is implicated in disobeying the ruling of the Supreme Court court to face appropriate consequences in accordance with our constitution.”
The CBN in implementing its policy of redesigning the national currency had embarked on a regime of withdrawing the old currency notes of N200, N500 and N1000 from circulation and injecting the new notes.
A deadline of February 10 to end the use of the old notes didn’t look feasible as most Nigerians couldn’t access the new notes while others still had loads of the old currencies.
To stem the slide into anarchy, the Supreme Court on February 8, in response to a suit by three state governments, ordered the suspension of the deadlines and the continued use of the old notes.
But a few days after, Buhari, in a broadcast, directed the continue of the old and new N200 notes while the old N500 and N1000 notes ceased to be legal tender.