On Sunday, the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) called for the immediate arrest of the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, and the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, for their roles in the crisis resulting from the redesign of naira notes.
Nigerians had harshly criticized the duo over the Federal Government’s disdain for the Supreme Court’s judgement on the redesign of the N200, N500, and N1000 notes.
The apex bank extended the validity of the old naira notes till December 31 on March 3.
However, the silence of the federal government and Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on the ruling 10 days after it was delivered has provoked anger in the land with many still reluctant to accept the old banknotes.
The Ekiti and Kogi States governments last week threatened to prosecute individuals and businesses rejecting the old naira notes in the states.
In a statement issued by its National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko, HURIWA described the AGF and CBN governor’s refusal to comply with the Supreme Court’s judgement as an assault on Nigerians.
The statement read: “The flagrant disobedience and arrogance of the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele; and the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami after the Supreme Court order is condemnable and treasonable.
“No individual is greater than the Nigerian State and those who think they are should be met with resistance and the punishment that they deserve. For Section 37 of the Criminal Code Act in Nigeria provided that any person who levies war against the State, in order to intimidate or overawe the state (here being Nigeria) is guilty of treason, and is liable to the punishment of death.
“Now that cash had dried up in most banks across the country due to what senior bankers described as the inability of the CBN to supply them with new naira notes, protests have started to break up in the country. This can threaten the security of the entire nation and the Department of State Services should not fold its arms and watch while Malami and Emefiele plunge Nigeria into chaos and untold hardship.
“HURIWA demand the arrest of the CBN governor, the AGF Malami, and their trial for treason for failing to comply with the judgment of the highest court in Nigeria. HURIWA also urged President Muhammadu Buhari to be democratic and obey the Supreme Court because the apex court on March 3 also pronounced that the February 16, 2023 declaration by the President is dictatorial.”