June 14, 2024

Naira Redesign: Ten State Attorneys-General Ask Supreme Court to Set Aside President’s Directive Contained in Broadcast

The Supreme Court matter on Naira Redesign which was brought against the Federal government by nine states has taken a new turn with the plaintiffs praying the Court to set aside President Muhammadu Buhari’s broadcast for”varying” the Supreme Court interim order.

According to the court papers seen by The Loyal Nigerian Lawyer correspondent, the Plaintiffs/Applicants are the Attorneys-general of Kaduna, Kogi, Zamfara, while the Plaintiffs in the suit proper include: Ondo, Ekiti, Katsina, Ogun, Cross River, Lagos, and Sokoto States.

The 1st, 2nd and 3rd defendants are; Attorney-General of the Federation, Attorney-General of Edo State and the Attorney-General of Bayelsa State respectively.

The Motion on Notice was brought pursuant to Sections 6(6) (B), 232 (1) 287 (1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as Amended) and Under the Inherent Disciplinary Jurisdiction of the Honourable Court.

The plaintiffs/Applicants are seeking “an order to set aside the directive contained in the Special and Presidential Media Broadcast delivered on Thursday, the 16th of February, 2023 by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (the substantive 1st Defendant in this suit) for being an unconstitutional overreach and usurpation of the judicial power of this Court on a matte constituting the subject matter of the pending suit herein; and in respect whereof the subsists an order of interim injunction binding on all parties inclusive of the President who is a party through the named nominal Defendant in person of the 1st Defendant as the Chief legal officer of the Federation.”

“And for such further or other orders as the Honourable Court may deem fit to make in the circumstance.”

The Plaintiffs/Applicants assert that the president’s media broadcast on Thursday, the 16th of February, 2023, “openly and publicly varied the order of the Court by directing that all the old Naira notes, excluding the old 200 Naira, were no longer legal tender and same would not be accepted except by the Central Bank of Nigeria, at its branches, or designated points.”

It continued that “In the face of the subsistence of the Supreme Court’s order, and now the Presidential directive that came subsequent to the Court order, which order was referenced by the President in his broadcast, the public is placed in an embarrassing dilemma as to “which directives/order should be complied with, between the order of the Supreme Court’s and the counter directive of the 1st Defendant which was issued later in time,

“The powers of this Honourable Court by virtue of section 232 (1), Section 6 (6)(b) and Section 287 (1) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), include the protection of its dignity and ensure due compliance with its orders by all persons and authorities.”

They prayed the apex court to grant the application as it is “imperative to restore faith and confidence in the court as being dominis litis over the instant suit, and to stave off further confusion as to obligations of obeisance to the extant orders of the court by all and throughout the country.”

The Motion on Notice is dated 17th February, 2023.

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