The Supreme Court on Wednesday, adjourned hearing on the case involving the naira swap deadline fixed by the Central Bank of Nigeria but advised federal government and other parties before it on the need to align with its interim order to prevent breakdown of law and order.
The apex court also refused to give fresh orders against the CBN but directed protesting states to amend and streamline their processes into one and come on February 22 ( Wednesday) for hearing.
Candidreporters.com recalls that the apex court had earlier granted an exparte motion filed by the governments of Kaduna, Kogi and Zamfara states seeking “an interim Injunction restraining the federal government through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) or the commercial banks from suspending or determining or ending on February 10, 2023, the time frame with which the now older version of the 200, 500 and 1,000 denomination of the naira may no longer be legal tender pending the hearing and determination of their motion on notice for an interlocutory injunction”.
But the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami, SAN, had filed a preliminary objection against the suit, urging the apex court to decline jurisdiction.
The court subsequently fixed today (February 15) for hearing.
But on Wednesday, Lagos, Cross Rivers, Ogun, Ondo, Sokoto,
states announced appearance saying they want to be joined as plantiffs.
Bayelsa and Edo states applied to join AGF as respondents.
Their respective applications for joinder was granted by the apex court.
Rivers and Kano states filed separate suits before the apex court saying they are challenging the withdrawal limits imposed by the CBN.
However, the seven-man panel of the apex court directed the lawyers to put their processes together and that one counsel would lead the plantiffs and respondents.
The apex court made the decision so as to save time.
But counsel for the initial plaintiffs ( Kaduna, Kogi), told the court that the federal government violated its first ruling on its exparte motion and there was need for it to make fresh orders.
“My lord, we are talking of a case of executive lawlessness, the orders of the court has been floated,” the plaintiff counsel, Abdulakim Mustapha said.
But the AGF counsel, Kanu Agabi SAN urged the court not to be inflamed by the plantiff’s arguments.