The Federal Government led by President Muhammadu Buhari has asked the Supreme Court to dismiss a suit filed by governors of three northern states challenging the deadline set by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for a end to the legal status of the old 200, 500 and 1000 naira notes.
VANTAGE NEWS reports that the FG through the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami, in a preliminary objection argued that the Supreme Court lacked jurisdiction to entertain the suit.
Recall that the governors of Kaduna, Kogi, and Zamfara had, on February 3rd, dragged the Federal Government to the Supreme Court over the naira redesign policy of the CBN.
The governors through their lawyers asked the Supreme Court to compel Buhari, the CBN, and commercial banks to rescind the February 10 deadline for the old N200, N500, and N1,000 banknotes as Nigeria’s legal tender.
Ruling on Wednesday, the Supreme Court ordered the Federal Government to halt the implementation of the currency redesign policy pending the determination of the substantive suit set to hold on Wednesday, February 15.
Reacting, Malami, through his lawyers, Mahmud Magaji and Tijanni Gazali, asked the apex court of the land to strike out the suit for lack of jurisdiction in court filings dated February 8, 2023.
The AGF also argued that “the plaintiffs have equally not shown reasonable cause of action against the defendant.”
Malami, with reference to Section 251 of the Constitution, cited grounds in support of the objection, and argued that the suit falls within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Federal High Court in matters of monetary policy of an agency of the Federal Government.
He said, “The claims or reliefs are not against the federation, but the Federal Government and its agency, the Central Bank of Nigeria.
“The Federal Government of Nigeria is distinct from the Federation or the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The plaintiffs have no grievance whatsoever against the Federation of Nigeria.
“This suit has disclosed no dispute that invokes this (Supreme) Court’s original jurisdiction as constitutionally defined.”
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