A human rights lawyer, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, has slammed the recent directive from President Muhammadu Buhari authorizing the use of only N200 notes in the country till April 10.
He said the directive was in defiance of the Supreme Court which temporarily nullified the implementation of the naira redesign until the issue was settled.
Buhari, in a nationwide broadcast on Thursday, said old N500 and N1,000 notes could be swapped at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and designated points.
The president said the old N200 note would remain legal tender until April 10 when it would cease to be valid.
The Supreme Court had in a recent order temporarily stopped the implementation of the policy pending the time the matter would be sorted. The apex court on Wednesday also adjourned the hearing of the suit jointly filed by three APC governors — Kogi, Kaduna and Zamfara— challenging the policy.
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Despite the order, Godwin Emefiele, governor of the CBN, had insisted that the February 10 deadline was still valid.
Adegboruwa in a statement on Thursday, said President Muhammadu Buhari’s lastest directive on the policy was a recipe for lawlessness.
The lawyer wrote: “The broadcast of the president is sad for our democracy. Since he already admitted that the matter is subjudice, the President should not have proceeded to vary the order of the Supreme Court.
“The president and indeed the executive should not give the impression that citizens can brazenly disregard lawful orders of any court, as that will only encourage anarchy and lawlessness.
“It amounts to executive rascality, brazen disregard, and contempt of the Supreme Court, for the President to separate the denomination of the old notes for legality. It is not open to the President to choose which portion of the order of the Supreme Court that will be obeyed.
“The President should reverse his directive and add the N500 and N1000 old notes, failing which the Supreme Court should overrule the directive of the President on February 22 when the case comes up.”