Professor Auwalu Yadudu, a renowned constitutional lawyer, has termed the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) failure to comply with the Supreme Court’s decision on the old naira notes as disrespectful and the utmost disregard for the rule of law.
Yadudu stated this during a press conference on Wednesday.
The Supreme Court extended the legal tender status of old naira notes until December 31, 2023 on Friday.
He expressed regret that President Muhammadu Buhari would accept such contempt for the rule of law.
“It is a brazen disregard and total contempt of court order; not any court but the highest court of the land, and it is the most irresponsible thing for any agency of government or any elected official of government to be so brazen about it.”
On what it means for the judiciary and rule of law, Yadudu, a former legal adviser to late General Sani Abacha, he said, “It doesn’t tell well, and my greatest worry is that Mr President has descended into the fray and it will appear that whatever the CBN is doing has his blessing, and this is the worst case of disregard for the rule of law that the president can leave behind.
“Even when an interim order was given, he (the president) chose to disregard it completely and even to issue his decree as to what note will remain a legal tender and which will not.
“I think this is the saddest point in the administration of Mr President that such a disregard of a court order can be made under his watch and with his manifest approval.”
He added, “To safeguard the integrity of the rule of law and judiciary, citizens must outrightly condemn the action and not just that, but also approach the court to seek that all those involved in this disregard of a court order be admitted for contempt of court order.”