From Olalekan Awojodu, Abuja
The Nigerian Bar Association, (NBA) has disclosed that its intervention on behalf of Nigerians for an appeal for a reconsideration and review of the implementation of the demonetization policy was apt, saying it has saved the affected old naira notes from ceasing to be legal tender.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), it will be recalled had earlier fixed today 31st as the deadline when the N200, N500 and N1,000 notes would cease being a legal tender in the country.
The President, Mr. Yakubu Maikyau, SAN, made the declaration on Tuesday while speaking at the state of the nation press conference held at the NBA house in Abuja.
The event followed a national dialogue on the state of the nation organized by the legal body. While reeling out reasons for its intervention during its address, the body indicated that its action stemmed from the nationwide consultation and observation of the difficulties being encountered by Nigerians in the implementation of the demonetization policy of the CBN.
“We took the initiative on behalf of Nigerians to appeal for a reconsideration and review of the policy. We wrote a letter to CBN and other relevant government offices including a visit to the Minister of Finance. “Incidentally, today would have been the last day when the affected naira notes would have ceased to be legal tender,” Maikyau said.
In another development, the body has also expressed its readiness to deploy the instrumentality of the law to ensure that no ex-convict is allowed to contest the forthcoming presidential election.
The body noted that though some of the leading candidates in the impending presidential election have been accused of complicity in drug trafficking and corruption, it said such allegations have not been supported with any evidence of conviction.
He said: “As far as we are concerned, they remain allegations that have not been proven against the threshold set by the law. The alleged involvement in drugs and corruption are mere allegations that have not been proved. If anyone has evidence of conviction of any of the presidential candidates, please make it available and we will take it up from there.
“It is a constitutional requirement that if there is conviction the person stands disqualified. Even the Electoral Act also has provisions that make anyone with a history of conviction ineligible to stand for election.
“So, we will be glad to see any evidence and we will employ the instrumentality of the law to make sure that no convict stands for election in this country”, the NBA President stated.
According to Maikyau, the body will also institute disciplinary action against any judge or lawyer that is involved in the manipulation of the judicial process to favour any politician.
“Members of the Bar who misconduct themselves while participating in the resolution of electoral disputes will face disciplinary action at the Legal Practitioners’ Disciplinary Committee (LPDC) and the Legal Practitioners’ Privileges Committee (LPPC), where Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN) are involved”, the NBA added.
The body then commended the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, for extending the period for collection of Permanent Voters Card, PVC.
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