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Governors give Malami, Emefiele Tuesday ultimatum to obey Supreme Court

State governments, which sued the Federal Government on the naira redesign policy, have given the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN, and the Central Bank of Nigeria Governor, Godwin Emefiele, till Tuesday to comply with the order of the Supreme Court on the currency.

The state governments threatened to file contempt charges against the two top officials on Tuesday should they fail to obey the apex court which ordered that the old N1,000, N500 and N200 should be in circulation alongside the new notes till December 31, 2023.

Over one week after the court handed down the order, the AGF and the CBN have kept mum over the verdict. Their silence has emboldened Nigerians and businesses to reject the old notes as legal tender.

The Federal Government had on Friday, been served with the enrolled order and Certified True Copy of the Supreme Court judgment ordering the use of old notes as legal tender for 10 months.
The counsel for Kaduna, Kogi and Zamfara states, which dragged the Federal Government before the Supreme Court on the matter, Abdulhakeem Mustapha (SAN), disclosed that Malami was served with the enrolled order and the CTC of the judgment on Friday afternoon, adding that he expected immediate compliance with the judgment as the non-service of the documents had given the government and the CBN an escape route.

Mustapha said, “The Attorney-General of the Federation has been served now and we will take it up from there; if there is no compliance now, we will commence committal proceedings against the attorney-general and the CBN governor.”

But giving an update on the move to enforce compliance with the order of the apex court on Sunday, the Zamfara State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Junaidu Aminu, revealed that since the Federal Government had refused to implement the judgment, the plaintiffs in the suit would approach the court again to ensure compliance with the court’s order.
Aminu said that the states would file contempt charges against the Federal Government on Tuesday.

He said, “We have just served the Attorney General of the Federation with the Certified True Copy of the Enrolled Order of the Supreme Court last Friday. We are waiting for them to respect the court’s decision on the naira notes and comply with the decision. If they fail to comply on Monday, we are filing our case on Tuesday.’’

The AG insisted that Emefiele must address Nigerians on the naira notes issued on or before Monday (today), noting that “that is what Nigerians are waiting for.”

“If he fails to do so, we will go back to court again to sue him and the Federal Government on contempt charges,’’ he warned.

The Zamfara State justice commissioner explained that it was the duty of the AGF to direct the CBN governor to implement the court’s verdict on the naira notes.

Aminu further said, “The Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, is the one who should direct the CBN to comply with the Supreme Court’s verdict and allow the old naira notes to remain legal tender until December 31.”

Other Attorney generals that confirmed their states would be joining the suit include Ekiti State, Cross Rivers, Kogi, Rivers and Ondo State.
They all agreed to take steps to ensure compliance.

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