A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Femi Falana, has accused the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) of flouting the interim injunction of the Supreme Court suspending the implementation of the February 10 deadline on the use of the old banknotes.
Following the redesign of the N200, N500, and N1,000 banknotes in November 2022, Nigerians trooped to various banks to deposit their old currencies in line with the initial January 31 deadline, which the apex bank later extended to February 10.
However, an interim injunction granted by the Supreme Court on February 8 restrained the CBN from carrying out the implementation.
But Falana, who made a live appearance on Channels Television’s The 2023 Verdict on Tuesday, said the government was not ready to comply with the order.
“In a country where the rule of law operates, once the Supreme Court has determined a matter or given an order, it is expected that all and sundry – everybody – will comply with the order,” he said.
“[A] statement was credited to the Central Bank that since it was not a party to the case, it’s not going to comply with the order. I thought that could only happen in a banana republic.
“I expected the Central Bank to have issued a statement following the order of the Supreme Court: ‘all actions are stale until the 15th of February.’”
According to him, the law will be invoked to deal with those who are deliberately flouting the orders of the court and sabotaging the rule of law in Nigeria.
“For me, an example has to be made this time around, so that nobody will feel that he’s above the law in our country,” he added.