Failure to heed Supreme Court order could damage Buhari’s credentials – ACF 

The Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately act on the Supreme Court ruling on Naira redesign, warning that failure to do so could tarnish the president’s image as a democrat and supporter of rule of law. 

The Supreme Court had ruled Friday March 3rd, 2023 that the ban on old N1,000 and N500 notes is illegal, adding that all the old and new notes should be legal tender till December 2023. 

But as federal government failed to respond to the order, ACF secretary general, Malam Murtala M. Aliyu, said in a statement Sunday that 10 days after the Supreme Court ruling, the federal government should have ordered the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to implement the court order to avoid contempt of the apex court and retain its pedigree as a stickler for tenets of democracy and the Rule of Law in order not to damage the reputation of President Buhari. 

He said: “Some 10 days ago, the Supreme Court of Nigeria held that the President, Muhammadu Buhari, breached the Constitution of Nigeria in the way he issued a directive to the CBN for the redesign of the Naira without consulting with the National Council of States and the Federal Executive Council. It went further to rule that the unconstitutional use of powers by the president on the naira redesign has breached the fundamental rights of Nigerian citizens in various ways. 

“The state governors have persistently argued that the policy which permitted the CBN to place an embargo on the circulation of old N500 and N1,000 notes, while not providing their replacement in sufficient amounts, had triggered severe cash shortage and chaos in the economy. It has led to runaway inflation in food and other commodities. 

“Huge crowds and long queues form around bank offices and ATM points across the country as people struggle to get the new cash which have remained extremely scarce. It has triggered riots and other forms of civil unrest. The current approach of the CBN, according to the governors, raises concerns about the respect for the civil liberties and rights of Nigerians as it relates to their freedom to use legitimately earned income as they so wish.”