Abubakar Malami, attorney-general of the federation says the federal government would obey the supreme court order restraining the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) from banning the use of the old naira notes from February 10.
A seven-member panel of the apex court led by John Okoro, made the ruling on Wednesday in an ex parte application brought by three states: Kaduna, Kogi, and Zamfara.
The AGF has also filed a preliminary objection challenging the jurisdiction of the court to entertain the suit.
Nigerians To Use Old Notes Till Feb 15 As FG Says It Will Obey Supreme Court Order
But in an interview with Arise TV on Wednesday, Malami said the federal government would obey the order in line with the rule of law.
“The order was granted by the supreme court and the order is to lapse on Wednesday which is the day of the hearing. With that position in mind, we have taken steps to file an objection challenging the jurisdiction of the court to entertain the matter,” he said.
“Jurisdiction on the grounds that when you talk of monetary policy regardless of the characters they take, the Central Bank is an indispensable and a necessary party for that matter.
“What we have at hand is a situation where the Central Bank is not joined as a party and if the Central Bank as an institution is not joined as a party the position of the law is clear that the original jurisdiction of the supreme court cannot be properly invoked.
“So we have given considerations to diverse issues inclusive of the issue of jurisdiction and come Wednesday we will argue the case from that perspective amongst others.
“There is no doubt the fact that the ruling of the supreme court regardless of the prevalent circumstances is binding and then within the context of the rule of law, you can equally take steps that are available to you within the context of the spirit and circumstances of the rule of law and what we are doing, in essence, is compliance with the rule of law both in terms of obedient to the ruling and in terms of challenging the ruling by way of putting our own side of the story, putting across our case, challenging jurisdiction.
“So the issue of obedience to the ruling of the supreme court is out of it we are wholeheartedly in agreement that naturally we are bound by it and will comply accordingly but within the context of compliance we shall challenge the ruling by way of filing an application seeking for it to be set aside, it is all about the rule of Law.
“The rule of law provides that there has to be obedience to the judgment and orders of the supreme court, the rule of law provides that when you are not happy with a ruling you can file an application for setting aside and in compliance with the rights and privileges vested in us as a government we are equally looking at challenging the order and seeking for it to be set aside.”
Source: The Cable