A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Richard Ogunwole, has advised the Central Bank of Nigeria to abide by the Supreme Court’s temporary order halting the move by the Federal Government to ban the use of old naira notes from February 10.
The top lawyer gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Wednesday in Ibadan, Oyo State.
Ogunwole said the Supreme Court’s decision remained final and must be followed by all, irrespective of status or position.
He said: “There is nobody in Nigeria today who is not feeling the harsh economic policy of CBN.
“We lawyers even find it difficult going to court because we also need money to transport ourselves there.
“It is the same situation for people from other professions.
“My advice to CBN, the Federal Government and the commercial banks is to abide by the order or risk contempt of court.”
However, a human rights activist, Femi Aborisade, said that the apex court had only allowed itself to be used by politicians by granting such an order.
Aborisade told NAN that the critical problem was not the extension of the February 10 deadline for the old naira notes to cease to be legal tender, but the availability of new notes.
“The essence of the extension is to serve as a relief to the generality of Nigerians,” said the legal practitioner.
Aborisade expressed doubt on whether the Supreme Court had jurisdiction on a matter like naira redesign by CBN.
NAN reports that the apex court had given an interim injunction restraining the Federal Government, CBN, commercial banks and others from implementing the February 10 deadline for the old N200, N500 and N1000 to stop being legal tender.
The court held that they must not continue with the deadline, pending the hearing of the main suit on February 15.
NAN also reports that the case was instituted by the Governors of Kaduna, Kogi and Zamfara States: Nasir el-Rufai, Yahaya Bello and Bello Matawalle.