Naira: The Central Bank of Nigeria has no reason to defy court decisions Says Presidency
The Presidency stated yesterday that President Muhammadu Buhari did not instruct or direct the Attorney General of the Federation, AGF, and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, or the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Godwin Emefiele, to disregard the Supreme Court’s order on the Naira swap deadline.
The Presidency further stated that the CBN has no reason to refuse to comply with court decisions because it is awaiting instructions from the President.
According to a statement published by President Buhari’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, President Buhari has never interfered in the work of the judiciary and has no motive to do so now that he is leaving office in a few months.
“The Presidency wishes to respond to some public concerns that President Muhammadu Buhari did not respond to the Supreme Court judgement on the issue of the N500 and N1,000 old currency notes, and states here plainly and clearly that at no time did he instruct the Attorney General and the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria to disobey any court orders involving the government and other parties,” Shehu said in the statement.
“When the President was inaugurated into office in 2015, he has never directed anybody to ignore court rulings, in the strong belief that we can’t practise democracy without the rule of law and the devotion of his administration to this concept has not altered.
“Given the ongoing intense debate regarding the compliance with the legality of the old currency notes, the Presidency consequently wishes to say clearly that President Buhari has not done anything knowingly and deliberately to interfere with or hinder the administration of justice.
“The President is not a micromanager and will not, therefore, prohibit the Attorney General and the CBN Governor from fulfilling the intricacies of their jobs in accordance with the law. In any case, it is unclear at this point if there is evidence of wilful denial by the two of them on the directions of the Supreme Court.
“The direction of the President, following the meeting of the Council of State. is that the Bank must make available for circulation all the money that is needed and nothing has happened to change the stance.
“It is well documented that the President respects the judicial process and the authority of the courts.”
Continuing the Presidency said, “He has done nothing in the last eight or so years to act in any way to obstruct the administration of justice, cause lack of confidence in the administration of justice, or otherwise interfere or corrupt the courts and there is no reason whatsoever that he should do so now when he is getting ready to leave office.
“The negative campaign and personalised assaults against the President by the opposition and all manner of critics is unfair and unjust, given no court order at any level has been issued or directed at him.
“As for the cashless system the CBN is determined to put in place, it is a known fact that many of the country’s citizens who bear the brunt of the sufferings, surprisingly support the policy as they believe that the action would cut corruption, fight terrorism, build an environment of honesty and reinforce the incorruptible leadership of the President.
“It is therefore well off the mark to blame the President for the current debate over the cash scarcity, despite the Supreme Court verdict. The CBN has no reason to refuse to comply with court rulings because it is awaiting instructions from the President.
“President Buhari has also dismissed the notion that he lacks compassion, claiming that “no government in our recent history has undertaken initiatives to help economically excluded and vulnerable populations like the current administration.”
Also Read: Materials Inspection: We have nothing to conceal — INEC