A Human rights lawyer, Monday Ubani has reacted to President Muhammadu Buhari’s declaration that old N500 and N1,000 notes are no longer tender.
He stated this, Thursday during his appearance on Channels Television’s programme, The 2023 Verdict.
In a national broadcast on Thursday morning, the President ordered the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to circulate the old N200 notes alongside the new N200, N500, and N1,000 notes for 60 days.
He, however, said old N500 and N1,000 banknotes are no longer legal tender in Nigeria.
Reacting, the Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association Section on Public Interest and Development Law (SPIDEL) said the president overruled the Supreme Court with his declaration.
He said that rather than intervening early in the process, the President should have left the Supreme Court to decide the issue.
“The President has overruled the Supreme Court decision. That is what I understand by what the President said this morning.”
“There was an interim order which says you should hold on until the Supreme Court look at the grievances made by the state because unfortunately many other states are joining the suit, and the Supreme Court saw the wisdom in giving room for other parties to join so that there will proper parties before going ahead to look at the issues on its merit and that was why there was an adjournment yesterday (Wednesday).
“But unfortunately what the president has done this morning has ignored whatever is going on at the Supreme Court.
“When you say you will only allow old N200 to be in circulation, meaning that (old) N1000 and N500 notes are no longer legal tender,’ he said.
“My understanding of what has taken place is that he has overruled the Supreme Court. He’s clearly not mindful of what is going on at the Supreme Court with what he has just done.”
“I am not too happy with what has happened this morning in terms of the President overruling the Supreme Court. I am not happy. We are not telling the world that we are practising democracy. It is not a proper precedent. The world is watching us, the international community is watching us.
“If you cannot obey your court orders, how do you instill confidence in the international community to come into your country to make investments? In case there is any dispute, can there be a decision of the court that can be complied with within your country? We are not sending the right signal,” he added.