Every advanced society is regulated by well-established laws and regulations. The rule of law, its due process, and the elimination of arbitrary and dictatorial decision-making are all important for the development of society. The recent redesign of the national currency, the naira, as well as new policy and legal concerns, the Supreme Court’s ruling, and the difficulties associated with the redesign all highlight the difficulty of governing and upholding the rule of law. In this speech, the major general (retired) Muhammadu Buhari and the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, are urged to follow the Supreme Court’s ruling and discuss the major concerns raised by the redesign.
Nigerians were instructed to deposit their old N200, N500, and N1000 notes with the banks before January 31, 2023, when they would no longer be considered legal cash under the contentious currency redesign program. The Supreme Court intervened on the plea of the governors of Kaduna, Kogi, and Zamfara states who emphasized the suffering the lack of naira notes brought to their people. The deadline was changed as a result of public uproar. The incumbent All Progressives Congress and president-elect Bola Tinubu, who was a contender for president at the time, alleged that the policy was intended to demarket them in the election. The administration first defied an interim order from the Supreme Court, forcing Muhammadu Buhari to personally intervene and issue new instructions.
which went against the court’s directive to maintain the status quo. The old currencies shall continue to be accepted as legal cash until the end of 2023, according to the Supreme Court’s final ruling.
The Supreme Court’s decision, which is final and cannot be appealed, was anticipated to put an end to the difficulties, conflicts, and problems surrounding the naira redesign strategy and its execution. However, roughly ten days after the verdict, there are still lengthy lines in banking halls and facilities, the public is still unable to use either the new or the old naira, and banks’ money transfer services as well as those of other digital payment platforms are still unavailable.
The Attorney General, Abubakar Malami, is silent, and the CBN has not issued any instructions to the banks. The president has not yet issued any directives in this regard. In essence, the Supreme Court’s ruling is being disregarded, and the administration is violating the law by refusing to carry out the court’s directives in violation of the Constitution. The governors who brought the case before the Supreme Court and argued that their action was motivated by their love for the Nigerian people have abruptly lost their voice, while the incoming president and the ruling party no longer give a damn about the country’s hardship. After they were announced the victor of the presidential election, the people cried about winning the election.
What does it mean that the President and the governor of the CBN disregarded the Supreme Court’s ruling? It is a call for chaos, lawlessness, and the highest levels of executive impudence, impunity, and mischief. The cornerstone of democracy and the rule of law are undermined by disobedience to court orders. It disregarded the constitutional division of powers and affirmed that “might makes right,” evoking the earlier military dictatorship when troops assumed personal responsibility for life and death. The executive rascality is a mismatch to the dream of Nigerians who suffered and braved persecution to remove the military from office after 23 years of civil government.
Nigerians are openly encouraged to revolt against tyranny, injustice, and the duo’s ongoing violations of the country’s fundamental rights by the Presidential and CBN disobedience to court orders. Certainly, every civilized country, including Nigeria, recognizes the right to property. Money is a symbol of the value of individual possessions as well as the sweat, toil, creativity, and inventiveness of a nation. It is held in banks for storage with the clear understanding that a bank and a depositor have a relationship of absolute good faith confidence.
A depositor’s request to access his money is legally required to be honored by the bank. The current situation, where the CBN has used deception to deny Nigerians access to their money, first under a policy with questionable legal validity and now under a policy that the Supreme Court has declared illegal, is an attack on the rights and liberties of Nigerians of incalculable and unimaginable proportions. It is obviously illegal to deny a property’s legitimate owner their ability to access and use the property.
It is essential that the highest ranking law enforcement and state security personnel who have access to the President counsel him on the need of adhering to the Supreme Court’s order. No intelligence or law enforcement organization should begin the futile search for political opponents and other opposition figures as the root of the impending uprising. Nigerians have reached their breaking point and can no longer retreat. The only option is to fight back against tyranny, oppression, and other forms of oppression. According to recent data from the National Bureau of Statistics, poverty has become endemic in Nigeria as a result of the Buhari administration’s unsuccessful economic policies.
Bureau of Statistics in regard to the widespread, multifaceted poverty. The worst case scenario would be to make this vulnerable situation even worse by committing crimes. Since the currency crisis, a large number of Nigerians have lost their means of support, unemployment and suffering have risen, and private capital’s capacity to produce goods and services and add value has decreased.
There is nothing wrong with the CBN revamping the naira, to be clear. If it had been just a monetary policy exercise, then the redesign and the entire exercise would have been flawless. For Nigerians, exchanging old notes for new ones while adhering to the prudential cash transaction limits outlined in the money laundering statutes or any other applicable extant subsidiary legislation would have been a piece of cake. But, there was a confusing agenda that had little to do with monetary policy, such as efforts to combat terrorism, battle corruption, and buy votes. The CBN also had a more disquieting agenda, one that involved a cashless policy, which it did nothing to ensure.
Less than three months remain till the President’s time as president ends on May 29, 2023, and Nigerians are curious as to how he wants to be remembered. Every person, including public officials, is free to act and refrain from acting, to carry out or forego obligations, to uphold the law or to disregard it, among other things. Nevertheless, no one creates their own history or dictates how they will be remembered to those they were meant to serve or to future generations. The moment has come for our governors, who started the Supreme Court case, to go back to court and begin contempt proceedings because the ruling has been followed in violation.
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