A human rights activist, Femi Falana (SAN) has said in an interview that commercial banks do not require any authorisation or directive from the Central Bank of Nigeria Governor, Godwin Emefiele or the federal government to dispense the old naira notes as ordered by the apex court.
Last Friday, in a unanimous judgement, a seven-member panel of justices of the Supreme Court, presided over by Justice Inyang Okoro, ordered the circulation of the old naira notes alongside the new ones until December 31.
“The counsel to the government, Chief Kanu Agabi (SAN), disclosed to the entire nation after the judgement that the judgement would be complied with.
“So, the CBN governor is being misled by saying that he has not authorised the commercial banks to dispense the old notes.
“We urge the commercial banks to disregard the contemptuous statement of Mr Godwin Emefiele because he is not required by law to give any directives.
“By virtue of Section 287 of the Constitution, the decision of the Supreme Court is binding on all authorities and persons in the entire federation and it takes immediate effect,” Falana stated.
“The banks are following the rule of law by dispensing with the old notes; they do not require the authorisation of Mr Emefiele or that of the AGF, Abubakar Malami (SAN), who has said he is not in the position to advise the president on monetary policies.
“The matter has gone beyond his legal advice.
“The judgement has taken effect and the banks are doing the right thing by following the rule of law, and nobody can penalise them for following the rule of law.”
The senior lawyer also urged the lawyers of the plaintiffs to serve all the commercial banks with certified true copies of the orders of the Supreme Court.
“It has to be made clear to all and sundry that this country is run based on the rule of law,” he added.