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Federal Government Seeks Dismissal of Suit Challenging Naira Redesign Policy

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The Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami, on Wednesday asked the Supreme Court to dismiss a suit filed by three state governments challenging the naira redesign policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

In a preliminary objection filed by the AGF, the federal government argued that the Supreme Court lacks the jurisdiction to entertain the suit.

The AGF contended that the plaintiffs have also not shown the “reasonable cause of action against the defendant.”

He is asking the court to strike out the suit for lack of jurisdiction.

The government’s lawyers – Mahmud Magaji and Tijanni Gazali – cited Section 251 of the Constitution and argue that the suit falls within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Federal High Court.

According to the AGF, the claims or reliefs are not against the federation, but the federal government and its agency, the Central Bank of Nigeria.

“The Federal Government of Nigeria is distinct from the federation or the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The Plaintiffs have no grievance whatsoever against the Federation of Nigeria.

“This suit has disclosed no dispute that invokes this (Supreme) court’s original jurisdiction as constitutionally defined,” the AGF added.

The governments of Kaduna, Kogi, and Zamfara States had sued the federal government over the naira redesign policy.

In the suit filed on 3 February, the states prayed the Supreme Court to compel President Muhammadu Buhari, the CBN, and commercial banks to cancel the 10 February deadline for the swapping of the old N200, N500, and N1000 notes for the redesigned ones.

Ruling on the request, the Supreme Court ordered the government to halt the implementation of the policy pending the determination of the substantive suit.

It fixed a hearing for 15 February.

 


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