A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Professor Paul Ananaba has explained why the supreme court order on the continuous use of the old naira note may not be enforced. He also disclosed that courts have stopped collecting the old naira notes
Anababa made the disclosure in an interview on Arise Television on Wednesday, February 15.
The Supreme Court had ruled earlier that the old naira note remains a legal tender while pushing the case brought before it by some governors to February 22.
The CBN on the other hand had declared that the old naira had ceased to be a legal tender since February 10
In his reaction, however, Prof Ananaba said the best way out of the problem is to reach an out-of-court settlement while also noting that it may be too late in the day to enforce the Supreme Court order.
He said, “The courts that gave the stay of action order have stopped collecting the old naira notes. If you go to the court today, they won’t collect the notes.
“The banks no longer collect it and many institutions have stopped collecting it. Even the ordinary citizens out there no longer collect the old note. So it may well be difficult to go back to the old note”
Anababa who is the former chairman of the Nigeria Bar Association Section on Public Interest and Development said further that the act setting the CBN up permits it to carry out monetary regulations.
He said the Supreme Court can not stop CBN from performing its statutory role. “What the Supreme Court has only done is to ask the CBN to stay action and give some time pending when the matter brought before it would be heard.”
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While noting that the situation in the country is worrisome and unpalatable, Ananaba said “The president has the executive power to act on the matter. The president can intervene without delay. The Supreme Court is only suspending the matter for a little while.
“I will advise that the governors should have an emergency meeting among themselves and discontinue the case in the court. They should seek how to solve the impasse with the president. The case ought not to have been taken to court in the first place”
He said the adjournment of the hearing to February 22 is worrisome. “There are grave implications for the adjournment in the sense that it is close to the election. The economy, social and political life of the people will be affected.
“The paucity of cash may also lead to the disenfranchisement of many because they may not be able to travel to where they will cast their votes. It may also expose electorates to financial inducement if not handled with care.” Ananaba said.