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BREAKING: Emefiele rush to meet Buhari in Aso Rock after Supreme Court order

President Muhammadu Buhari has received the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele in Aso Rock, Abuja.

This is coming hours after the Supreme Court ruling of Wednesday stopping the February 10 deadline for the validity of three old naira notes.

A seven-man panel of the Supreme Court led by Justice John Okoro, in a unanimous ruling, granted the interim injunction after an ex parte filed by Kogi, Kaduna and Zamfara state governments.

The highest court also held that the Federal Government and the apex bank must not continue with the deadline pending the determination of the hearing on February 15.

The outcome of the meeting is yet to be known but the visit by the apex bank chief is in connection to the ruling of the Supreme Court.

Sign Executive Order, Buhari Told

Meanwhile, the Coalition of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) of Nigeria has said that the Supreme Court ruling of Wednesday is designed to enable corrupt politicians to share old N200, N500 and N1,000 notes during the February 25 and March 11 general elections.

“This order is only designed to help politicians in the sharing of old money during elections,” said the group’s National Coordinator, Obed Okwukwe at a press conference in Abuja on Wednesday.

Okwukwe rejected the ruling and urged the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Olukayode Ariwoola to vacate the order.

The group further urged President Muhammadu Buhari to sign an Executive Order to overthrow the ruling of the apex court as he is empowered by Section 5 of the 1999 Constitution in Nigeria.

“We call on the President to exercise his constitutional power. We may suggest that he should make an urgent Executive Order to set the terminal date for the new currency to remain February 10, 2023 which he has the powers to do under the law as the ex parte order made outside the jurisdiction cannot stop the Executive Order of the President,” Okwukwe said.

Legal Battle

The pandemonium over the February 10 deadline for the validity of three old naira notes assumed another dimension on Monday as five political parties and three state governments begun legal battles.

Whilst the Kaduna, Kogi and Zamfara governments dragged the Federal government before the Supreme Court, seeking an extension to the February 10 deadline, five political parties took the matter to the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court and secured an order barring the Federal Government and the apex bank from any extension of the deadline.

The CBN had on October 26, 2022, announced its plan to redesign the three banknotes. President Muhammadu Buhari subsequently unveiled the redesigned N200, N500, and N1,000 notes on November 23, 2022, while the apex bank fixed a January 31 deadline for the validity of the old notes.

The CBN also pegged its weekly cash withdrawal limits to N500,000 for individuals and N5m for corporate firms.

With cries by many Nigerians, the apex bank extended the deadline from January 31 to February 10, saying it got the approval of the President.

The National Assembly asked for a six-month extension of the policy, amid scathing criticisms by governors, lawmakers and stalwarts of the ruling party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) including the flag bearer of the party, Bola Tinubu; former Edo State governor, Adams Oshiomhole; Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila; Majority Leader of the House of Representatives, Alhassan Ado Doguwa; Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola; amongst others.

Buhari on Friday after a meeting with some APC governors asked for seven days to make a major decision on the policy.


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