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Court Stops Buhari, CBN, Others from Suspending Naira Redesign Policy
* Summons bank chiefs over alleged economic sabotage
Alex Enumah in Abuja
A High Court of the Federal Capital Territory Monday, issued a restraining order on President Muhammadu Buhari, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele and 27 commercial banks from suspending the demonization policy of the federal government.
Justice Eneojo Eneche made the order while ruling in an exparte application brought by four political parties against the government and 27 commercial banks in the country.
The plaintiffs in the suit marked FCT/HC/CV/2234/2023 are the Action Alliance, Action People’s Party, Allied People’s Movement and National Rescue Movement, while the defendants include President Buhari, CBN, Emefiele and 27 commercial banks.
The CBN had announced a currency redesign and a cash withdrawal limit of N100,000 weekly for individuals, with an implementation date of January 31, 2023.
However, due to pressure from both the public and private sector, the government and CBN increased the withdrawal limit to N500,000 weekly and extended the deadline date by another 10 days terminating at February 10, 2023.
Delivering ruling in a motion exparte dated and filed February 6, 2023, Justice Eneche restrained the respondents from “stopping, extending or interfering with the currency redesign terminal date of February 10 or issue any directive contrary to the February 10 date”.
Besides ordering the defendants to comply with the naira redesign policy, the court also summoned the chief executive officers and managing directors of commercial banks in the country and their alter egos to show cause why they should not be arrested and prosecuted for the economic and financial sabotage of the country by their illegal hoarding, withholding, not paying or disbursing the new N200, N500 and N1,000 bank notes despite the supply of such notes by the CBN, thereby leading to the present scarcity of currency in circulation.
While holding that the order of the court was for the period of seven days, the court adjourned to February 14, for hearing.