Muhammed Abubakar, Reporting
THE Coalition of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) of Nigeria has charged the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, to vacate the order by the Supreme Court restraining the Federal Government from implementing the February 10 deadline for the validity of old 200, 500 and 1000 naira notes.
Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday in Abuja, the National Coordinator of the group, Obed Okwukwe, claimed that the apex court does not have the jurisdiction to entertain the matter.
“We say it categorically that the Supreme Court does not have the jurisdiction to entertain that matter that has been presented before it by some state Attorneys General. We the CSOs are rejecting it.
“It is a plot to open bank vaults to enable vote buyers and holders of illicit wealth to have cash to buy votes.
“We urge the CJN to hurriedly vacate the Ex-parte order in the overall interest of the Nigerian election,” Okwukwe said.
He said according to the 1999 Constitution, as amended, the apex court has the right and original jurisdiction to entertain matters between states and the Federal Government.
The rights activist argued that the Naira redesign policy is a policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and has the backing of the Federal Government and ought not to be entertained by the Supreme Court.
Earlier on Wednesday, the Supreme Court restrained the Federal Government from implementing the February 10 deadline for the old naira notes.
Stonix News reports that three northern states — Kaduna, Kogi and Zamfara — had, in a motion ex-parte, filed on February 3rd, by their lawyer, AbdulHakeem Mustapha (SAN), prayed the apex court to halt the Central CBN naira redesign policy.
A seven-man panel of the Supreme Court led by Justice John Okoro, in a unanimous ruling, granted an interim injunction restraining the FG, CBN, commercial banks etc from implementing the February 10, deadline for the old 200, 500 and 1000 Naira notes to stop being a legal tender.
The court further held that the FG, CBN and commercial banks must not continue with the deadline pending the determination of a notice on notice on in respect of the issue on February 15.
By this ruling, the old Naira notes continue to be legal tenders in Nigeria beyond the February 10 deadline.