A Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, has advised President Muhammadu Buhari to abide by the judgement of the Supreme Court reversing the controversial naira redesign policy.
Last October, with approval from Buhari, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) initiated the redesign of the N200, N500, and N1,000 banknotes, fixing January 31, 2023 as the deadline for old notes, later extended to February 10.
The Supreme Court however put the policy on hold with an interim injunction on February 8, but the President insisted on the implementation of the policy with the exception of the old N200 notes whose circulation he allowed until April 10.
The policy gave rise to widespread naira scarcity and hardships for a multitude of Nigerians from all walks of life.
In a judgement perceived by many as a welcome bookend to the naira swap saga, the Supreme Court ruled on Friday that all the old denominations be legal tender until December 31, 2023.
Reacting to the judgement, Adegboruwa said in a statement, “As there is no room for further appeal against the judgment of the Supreme Court, I urge the President to immediately direct the Central Bank of Nigeria to comply fully with the judgment of the Supreme Court, as stated under section 287(1) of the Constitution and allow ALL the N200, N500 and N1000 old Naira notes to be circulating along with the Naira new notes till December 23, 2023.”
Describing the policy as “arbitrary and capricious”, he hailed the verdict as a “courageous confirmation of the sanctity of the rule of law and due process, in a democracy”.
According to the SAN, the apex court has brought a soothing relief from the hardship that Nigerians have been subjected to, over the past few weeks, on account of what he described as a “rather thoughtless” policy.
“The court should always be the platform for the resolution of all disputes by all aggrieved persons,” the statement reads in part.
“I salute the sagacity and courage of the justices of the Supreme Court for rising up to rescue Nigerians from the pangs of death, frustration and looming economic recession.
“Across all our land today, there will joy in many homes, businesses will bounce back and Nigerians will find cause to celebrate their freedom from all forms of dictatorship and arbitrariness.”