Barrister Tope Alabi, a lawyer based in Lagos, has requested that the Federal High Court in Lagos State take legal action against Godwin Emefiele, governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), for allegedly defying directives from the Supreme Court regarding the bank’s naira redesign policy.
Lagos-based lawyer files lawsuit against CBN's boss Emefiele
In an ex parte motion filed on March 27, Alabi called for the Federal High Court in Lagos State to begin legal proceedings against Emefiele, who was named as the sole respondent.
Cash Confiscation Policy: Alabi explains the hardship caused by CBN's redesign policy
Alabi referred to the CBN’s cashless policy as a “cash confiscation policy” and claimed that the lack of naira had adversely affected the day-to-day operations of his office because his staff was unable to make it to work every day.
He also stated that commercial drivers were unable to collect fares because they did not have point of sale (POS) devices or machines, which prevented his staff from accessing the office.
The lawyer filed a 28-page affidavit supporting his application, in which he claimed that in Suit No. SC. 162/2023 on March 10, 2023, the Supreme Court had directed Emefiele to allow the old ₦200, ₦500, and ₦1000 notes to coexist as legal tender with the new ₦200, ₦500, and ₦1000 notes until December 2023.
“The respondent has refused to comply with the Order of the Supreme Court made on 10 March 2023 till date,” Alabi said.
The attorney filed an ex parte motion on March 27, naming the CBN governor as the sole respondent.
The genesis of the redesign policy
The CBN announced plans to redesign the old ₦200, ₦500, and ₦1000 notes due to hoarding, counterfeiting, an as a step forward in implementing the cashless policy, which the apex bank has announced to citizens for years.
The redesign policy was announced last October and the new notes were released in mid-December. People were initially given until the end of January to hand in all their old notes, although this had previously been extended amid the chaotic scenes.
Not enough of the new notes were released, leading to widespread anger and frustration.
Many people were unable to get cash to pay for food and slept outside banks.
The highest court of the land had on March 3 ordered that the old ₦200, ₦500, and ₦1000 notes remain valid till December 31, 2023.
This was after 16 states of the Federation instituted a suit to challenge the legality or otherwise of the introduction of the policy.
JOIN OUR PULSE COMMUNITY!
Eyewitness? Submit your stories now via social or: