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FG Wants Interim Judgement Over Old Naira Notes Dismissed


FG Wants Interim Judgement Over Old Naira Notes Dismissed

The Federal Government through the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, has asked the Supreme Court to dismiss a suit filed by three northern state governments challenging the February 10 deadline set by the Central Bank of Nigeria to end the legal tender status of the old naira notes.

The government argued that the Supreme Court lacked jurisdiction to entertain the suit in a preliminary objection filed by the AGF through his lawyers, Mahmud Magaji and Tijanni Gazali.

Consequently, the Federal Government is asking the apex court to strike out the suit for lack of jurisdiction.

In court filings dated February 8, 2023, the AGF contends that “the plaintiffs have equally not shown reasonable cause of action against the defendant.”

On February 3, the state governments of Kaduna, Kogi and Zamfara, had sued the Federal Government over the naira redesign policy of the CBN.

The states urged the Supreme Court to compel the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), the CBN and commercial banks to rescind the February 10 deadline for the old N200, N500 and N1,000 banknotes as Nigeria’s legal tender.

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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.

However, citing grounds in support of the objection, with reference to Section 251 of the Constitution, the defence lawyers argue that the suit falls within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Federal High Court in matters of monetary policy of an agency of the Federal Government.

“The claims or reliefs are not against the federation, but the Federal Government and its agency, the Central Bank of Nigeria.

“The Federal Government of Nigeria is distinct from the Federation or the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The plaintiffs have no grievance whatsoever against the Federation of Nigeria.

“This suit has disclosed no dispute that invokes this (Supreme) Court’s original jurisdiction as constitutionally defined,” the AGF added.

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