Court restrains CBN, Buhari from tampering with Feb 10 cash swap deadline
by Eric Ikhilae, Abuja
A High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) has issued an interim injunction stopping President Mohammadu Buhari, the Central Bank of Nigeria, its Governor and the 27 commercial banks “from suspending, stopping, extending or interfering with the currency redesign terminal date of February 10th or issue any directive contrary to the February 10 date.”
Justice Eneojo Eneche gave the interim order in a ruling on Monday on a motion marked: M/4284/2023 filed in a suit marked: FCT/HC/CV/2234/2023, instituted by four political parties – Action Alliance (AA), Action Peoples Party (APP), Allied Peoples Movement (APM) and National Rescue Movement (NRM).
In a copy of the enrolled order seen late in Monday, Justice Eneche particularly said:
*An interim order of mandatory injunction is hereby made directing and mandating the defendants, whether by themselves, staff, agents, officers, interfacing banks or financial institutions or however described to comply with, implement and give effect to the currency re-design and restricting of the old of N200, N500, N1000 bank notes on or before the fast dote of 10th day of February, 2023, pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.
* An order of interim injunction is hereby made restraining the defendants whether by themselves, staff agents, officers, interfacing banks or whosoever not to suspend, stop, extend, vary or interfere with the extant termination date of use of the old N200, N500 and N1000 bank notes being 10th day of February 2023 or in any other manner howsoever issue any other contrary or inconsistent directive ever the subject matter beyond the last date of 10th day of February 2023, pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.
*An order is hereby made directing the heads, Chief Executive Officers, Managing Directors, and/or alter egos of the 4th to 30th defendants (the commercial banks) to forthwith show cause as to why they shall not be corrected and prosecuted for the
economic and financial sabotage of the Federal Republic of Nigeria by their illegal act of hoarding, withholding, not paying or disbursing the new N200, N500, and N1000 bank notes, being the legal tender of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to their respective customers, despite supplies of such currency.
The judge said the orders are to last for seven days in the first instance, and adjourned till February 14 for the hearing of the motion on notice.
The plaintiffs, in a supporting affidavit, claimed that politicians who ostensibly are in possession of illicit funds are the ones who want the policies suspended.