As more of its pronouncements on the currency redesign unfolds, the Supreme Court of Nigeria may have inadvertently define what the Muhammadu Buhari’s presidency will remembered for in years to come, dictatorship, and disobedience to the rule of law.
This is as human rights lawyer, Ebun Olu-Adegboruwa SAN urged the president to immediately obey the court judgement.
The seven man panel of the court, in the lead judgment read by Justice Emmanuel Agim, flayed President Buhari over his dictatorial tendencies, and lack of respect for the rule of law as he failed to consult the federating states through the National Council of States, and the National Economic Council before embarking on the change of currency. Likewise, the apex court held that the fact that President Buhari disobeyed its order, as represented by his national broadcast implies that he lacks respect for the rule of law.
Justice Agim declared that the “federal government of Nigeria is an agent of the Federation, and by implication, the acts of the federal government is the act of the federation. The position of the president as agent of the federation imposed a duty of consultation on him. Not to do so makes him a dictator”, Justice Agim said, adding that “our rule of law becomes illusory if a President refuses to obey the court”.
Adegboruwa commended the Apex Court Justices for their courageous pronouncement which have brought succour to many Nigerian homes.
He said: “The judgment of the Supreme Court delivered today on the arbitrary and capricious redesigning of Naira notes is a
courageous confirmation of the sanctity of the rule of law and due process, in a democracy. It is a soothing relief from the hardship that Nigerians have been subjected to, over the past few weeks, on account of this rather thoughtless policy;
The court should always be the platform for the resolution of all disputes by all aggrieved persons. 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;
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;
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”.
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