The Supreme Court has fixed March 3, 2023, for judgement in the naira redesign suit filed by Zamfara, Kogi and Kaduna state governments.
Dissatisfied with the decision of the Federal Government to phase out N500 and N1000 notes, some governors had headed for the apex court, which restrained the Federal Government from implementing the February 10 deadline for swapping the old naira notes with the new ones.
However, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor, Godwin Emefiele, said there was no need to shift the deadline.
President Muhammadu Buhari had subsequently ordered the CBN to recirculate old N200 notes, declaring that old N1000 and N500 notes were no longer legal tender.
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But the governors filed a fresh suit to challenge the federal government for not obeying court order, while Bayelsa and Edo states joined the federal government as co-defendants.
Earlier, during the hearing of the suits on Wednesday, the seven-member panel led by Justice Inyang Okoro admitted Abia State as the 12th state co-plaintiffs after counsel to the Attorney General of the Federation, Tijani Gazalli (SAN), agreed to concede to Abia’s fresh application to join, which he earlier said was not ripe as the office was served in the court.
Counsel to the Attorney General of Abia, Udochi Iheanacho Esq, had pleaded that the originating summons to join and a consolidation application be taken alongside other motions from other states.
However, the Attorney General of Lagos State, Moyosore Onigbanjo (SAN), raised an objection to the continued participation of the Attorney General of the Federation, whom he said was in contempt of the court.
He requested for permission to move his application for contempt proceedings against the AGF.
“The Attorney General of the Federation cannot continue to appear in court whilst being in contempt of court,” he said.
The presiding justice of the panel, Justice Okoro assured that every application, including the preliminary objections by the AGF will be heard as the apex court was not willing to be made scapegoat.
“You are not a stranger in this country as you are a participant,” he said.
“We don’t want a situation where the Supreme Court will be made a scapegoat. We refuse to be made scapegoat.”
“If you have contempt application, we will hear it; everything in court, we will hear,” he added.