The Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and minister of justice, Abubakar Malami, has refuted claims that President Muhammadu Buhari overruled the Supreme Court’s order on the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) monetary policy as the naira redesign crisis continues.
Even though he insisted that the administration had not violated the supreme court, Malami made the disclosure on Thursday during the weekly ministerial briefing held at the Presidential Villa in Abuja by the presidential communication team. He said that no Nigerian had taken the old notes to the bank and been rejected.
He asserted that the purpose of the monetary policy was to prevent moneylenders from taking over the general election and that Buhari was the only president who had sanitized the electoral process.
“The best way to respond to your question is to consider the nature of the rule of law in Nigeria. You have multiple options when a court issues an order; however, before I even get into the subject of our government’s options, let me say that.
“The obvious fact that we are not in violation of any court order, including any order related to the naira redesign. We haven’t broken the law. Although I am not a banker, I believe that you have not gone to determine which bank rejected the N1,000 or N500 notes you presented. Therefore, we do not breach.
“However, in the event that we are in violation, the fact remains that this matter is under judicial review, as you are well aware. It is being contested before the Supreme Court, and within the framework of the rule of law, you have multiple options when an order is issued.
“First, if the facts and evidence support your position, you are entitled to apply to have it set aside. The position of the law, or legal jurisprudence, is clear: you cannot be said to have violated the law when you presented your application for setting aside when you are attacking and seeking a setting aside of an existing court order.
“If the court is not an apex court, you also have the right to appeal, which you can support with an application for a stay of execution order.
“So, the bottom line of what I’m trying to say is that, in terms of protecting the government’s right to the naira redesign, we are doing the right thing as a government if the matter is under judicial review and within the framework of the rule of law. Therefore, we are not in violation,” the AGF stated.