Old Naira Notes: We’ll obey Supreme Court order — FG
Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, has said the federal government would obey the Supreme Court ruling against the banning of the old naira notes.
He stated this while featuring in an interview on ARISE News on Thursday.
Malami however noted that the government would take necessary steps to set aside the interim order.
NewsWireNGR recalls the Supreme Court had, in a ruling on Wednesday, suspended the CBN’s February 10 deadline for demonetisation policy and fixed February 15 for a hearing on the matter.
The AGF clarified that the federal government, out of its regard for the rule of law, would abide by the order of the apex court, even though it intended to challenge it and would do so within the provisions of the law.
He said, “The order was granted by the Supreme Court, and the order incidentally lapses on Wednesday, which is the day of the hearing, with that position in mind we have taken steps to file an objection challenging the jurisdiction of the court to entertain the matter.”
The minister explained, “Jurisdiction on the grounds that when you talk of monetary policy, regardless of the characters they take, the central bank is an indispensable and a necessary party for that matter.
“What we have at hand is a situation where the central bank was not joined as a party and if the central bank as an institution was not joined as a party, the position of the law is clear that the original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court cannot be properly invoked.
“So we have given considerations to diverse issues, inclusive of the issue of jurisdiction, and come Wednesday, we will argue the case from that perspective, among others.”
Malami added, “I think what we are talking about is not whether the ruling is binding or not binding, we are talking about what we intend to do, there is no doubt about the fact that the ruling of the Supreme Court, regardless of the prevailing circumstances, is binding and then within the context of the rule of law.
“You can equally take steps that are available to you within the context of the spirit and circumstances of the rule of law.
“And what we are doing in essence is in compliance with the rule of law both in terms of obedience to the ruling and in terms of challenging the ruling by way of putting across our own side of the story, putting across our case, challenging jurisdiction.
“So the issue of obedience to the ruling of the Supreme Court is out of it. We are wholeheartedly in agreement that naturally, we are bound by it and will comply accordingly. But within the context of compliance, we shall challenge the ruling by way of filing an application seeking for it to be set aside, it is all about the rule of law.”
Specifically, in its preliminary objection to the suit, the federal government insisted that the Supreme Court lacked the necessary jurisdiction to entertain the suit in the first place.
It was the argument of the federal government that the agency (CBN), whose Act was being complained about by the plaintiffs, was a statutory body with legal personality that could sue and be sued in its name.