Sani Abdullahi Shinkafi, chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Zamfara, says the federal government should respect the Supreme Court judgement and allow Nigerians use the old naira notes concurrently with the redesigned notes.
Mr Shinkafi, who made the remarks while addressing reporters in Gusau on Friday, urged President Muhammadu Buhari to respect the rule of the law.
“President Muhammadu Buhari must respect the Supreme Court’s verdict and allow both the new and old naira notes to exist concurrently until December 31 as the court ordered,” Mr Shinkafi asserted.
“Since the Supreme Court has ruled that the old and the new naira notes remain legal tender, there is nobody in the country, no matter how highly placed, can violate the order,” the politician stressed.
He added, “I am calling on President Muhammadu Buhari to respect the court order and quickly instruct the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to release the notes back into circulation.”
He also urged the Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) to release both new and old notes as ordered by the court.
Mr Shinkafi lamented how the new naira notes policy had negatively affected many Nigerians whom he said had been languishing in poverty since the introduction of the cashless policy.
He said the president was not properly advised by the CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele.
“This is not how advanced countries changed their currencies.”
According to the politician, the United States of America, the United Kingdom and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia used systematic and gradual means to replace their currencies without any expiration date.
“There has been change of currencies in countries like the USA, United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia and other advanced countries but they don’t abruptly stop old notes from circulation.
“What they normally do is that they allow the old notes to go with the new ones concurrently until the old ones finally return to the banks and they never release them again,” Mr Shinkafi said.
He commended governors of Zamfara, Kaduna and Kogi states for their doggedness that would save the country from total collapse.
He advised the governors to return to court in the event that the President, the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and the CBN refused to abide by the Supreme Court order.
“The Governors have powers to apply for enforcement of form (48) contempt of court charge and form (49) committal to prison so that all the actors who choose to disregard the decision of the Apex Court can be taken to prison outrightly,” he said.
The APC chieftain admonished Nigerians to continue using both the old and the new Naira notes as legal tenders until December 31 as instructed by the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court, earlier on Friday in a unanimous judgement, ordered that the old N200, N500 and N1000 notes remained in circulation until December 31.
Justice Emmanuel Agim, who read the lead judgement, held that the preliminary objections by the defendants (the Attorney General of the Federation, Bayelsa and Edo states) were dismissed as the court had the jurisdiction to entertain the suit.
Sixteen states of the federation instituted the suit to challenge the legality or otherwise of the introduction of the policy.
Justice John Inyang Okoro, who led a seven-man panel of Justices of the Court, had on February 22 fixed March 3 for the court to make its decision known on the suit.
The 16 states, led by Kaduna, Kogi and Zamfara, prayed the apex court to void and set aside the policy on the ground that it was inflicting hardships on innocent Nigerians.