Connect with us


‘The alternative is anarchy’, Falana charges CBN to obey Supreme Court order on naira swap



Femi Falana, the interim chairman of the Alliance on Surviving COVID-19 and Beyond (ASCAB), has explained why the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) must abide by the Supreme Court’s ruling regarding the currency swap problem.

In a statement on Thursday, Mr. Falana claimed that it was necessary for him to come out since there have been rumors that the CBN has decided not to abide by the orders of the Supreme Court.

The Senior Advocate claimed that the CBN’s action would be nothing more than a disdainful disregard for the law.

Falana examined the legal nuances of the case to determine why the Central Bank management might be attempting to disregard the court order.

The legal luminary, however, provided his counter arguments for why the CBN cannot disregard the Supreme Court, citing cases that provide a more thorough understanding of the actual situation.

The statement reads in part, “We have just read a report that the Authorities of the Central Bank of Nigeria have decided not to comply with the ex parte order issued by the Supreme Court of Nigeria in respect of the avoidable currency swap crisis.

“The reason adduced for the contemptuous disregard for the rule of law is that the Central Bank of Nigeria is not a party to the case of Attorney-General of Kaduna State & 2 Ors. v. Attorney-General of the Federation (Suit No: SC/CV/162/2023) pending at the Supreme Court.

“It is height of arrogance of power for Mr. Emefiele to treat the ex parte of the Supreme Court with provocative contempt. In view of the looming anarchy in the country we are compelled to draw the attention of the Central Bank Management of the rule of law to the case of Attorney-General of Lagos State v. Attorney-General of the Federation (2005) 2 WRN 1 at 109 where Tobi JSC of blessed memory cautioned all authorities and persons in Nigeria thus:

“In a society where the rule of law prevails, self-help is not available to the executive or any arm of government. In view of the fact that such a conduct could breed anarchy and totalitarianism, and since anarchy and totalitarianism are antitheses to democracy, courts operating the rule of law, the life-blood of democracy, are under a constitutional duty to stand against such action.

Read also:Falana’s group condemns fuel, cash scarcity, calls on Nigerians for nationwide protest

“It is public knowledge that the Federal Government has filed a preliminary objection challenging the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court to hear and determine the case of the Attorney-General of Kaduna State & 2 Ors v Attorney-General of the Federation (supra).

“In the interim, the Federal Government of Nigeria and its agencies including the Central Bank of Nigeria are bound by the valid and subsisting ex parte order of the Supreme Court of Nigeria until it is set aside by the same court.

“The alternative is to compound the ongoing anarchy and chaos in the land”, the statement reads.

Meanwhile, the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami, on Wednesday asked the Supreme Court to dismiss a suit filed by three state governments challenging the naira redesign policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

In a preliminary objection filed by the AGF through his lawyers – Mahmud Magaji and Tijanni Gazali – the Federal Government argued that the Supreme Court lacks jurisdiction to entertain the suit.

Three state governments – Kaduna, Kogi and Zamfara – had sued the Federal Government over the naira redesign policy of the CBN.

Citing grounds in support of the objection, they argue that the State Governments’ suit challenges the Federal Government through its agency, the CBN, to withdraw old banknotes from the financial system and introduce new ones.

Ruling on an ex parte request by the plaintiffs, the Supreme Court, ordered the Federal Government to halt the implementation of the currency redesign policy pending the determination of the substantive suit, slated for February 15, 2023.

By Mayowa Oladeji

Join the conversation


Support Ripples Nigeria, hold up solutions journalism

Balanced, fearless journalism driven by data comes at huge financial costs.

As a media platform, we hold leadership accountable and will not trade the right to press freedom and free speech for a piece of cake.

If you like what we do, and are ready to uphold solutions journalism, kindly donate to the Ripples Nigeria cause.

Your support would help to ensure that citizens and institutions continue to have free access to credible and reliable information for societal development.

Donate Now