By Emmanuel Okogba
Human Rights Lawyer, Dr. Monday Ubani has said that the reintroduction of the old N200 notes into the Nigerian economy by President Muhammadu Buhari is an overruling of the Supreme Court order that says old notes remain a legal tender.
The President in an address on Thursday ordered the CBN to recirculate the old N200 until April 10 while the old N500 and N1000 notes will no longer be accepted by Deposit Money Banks.
Ubani who was a guest on Channels Television’s The 2023 Verdict said the development was a bad precedent and shows the level of respect the current administration has for court orders.
He said, “There was an interim order which says there should be a stay of action until all grievances are looked at because unfortunately many other states are joining the suit, and the Supreme Court saw the wisdom in giving room for other parties to join so that there will proper parties before it before going ahead to look at the issues on its merit, that was why there was an adjournment yesterday.
“But unfortunately what the president has done this morning is ignore whatever is going on at the Supreme Court.
“When you say you will only allow old N200 to be in circulation, it means old N500 and N1000 are no longer legal tenders.
“My own understanding of what has taken place is that he has overruled the Supreme Court. He’s clearly not mindful of what is going on at the Supreme Court with what he has just done.
“I am not too happy with what has happened this morning in terms of the president overruling the Supreme Court. We are not telling the world that we are practicing democracy. It is not a proper precedent.
“If you cannot obey your court orders, how do you instill confidence in the international community to come into your country to make investments? In case there is any dispute, can there be a decision of the court that can be complied with within your country? We are not sending the right signal”
President Buhari in the national broadcast said the Naira redesign will among others stern inflation, curb corruption, and improve transparency. He also said he has asked the CBN to make the new banknotes more accessible to Nigerians and appealed for their understanding.
He further said the redesign of the currency has reduced the influence of money in politics, assuring of credible general elections this month.
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