Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has filed a lawsuit against President Muhammadu Buhari over unlawful directive banning the use of old N500 and N1,000 banknotes.

The group said the directive was contrary to the interim injunction granted by the Supreme Court that the old N200, N500, and N1000 notes remain legal tender pending a ruling before it.

Joined in the suit as Defendants are the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN, and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

The Supreme Court in a case initially brought by 10 states recently held that the old banknotes remain legal tender pending the determination of a motion on notice fixed for February 22. The deadline for the swap of the old notes expired on February 10.

However, Buhari in a national broadcast last week directed the CBN to recirculate only the old N200 banknotes, thereby overruling the Supreme Court and banning the use of old N500 and N1,000 notes in the country.

In the suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/233/2023 filed last Friday at the Federal High Court, Abuja SERAP is asking the court to determine “whether President Buhari’s directive banning the N500 and N1,000 banknotes is not inconsistent and incompatible with the constitutional duties to obey decisions of the Supreme Court and oath of office.”

SERAP is asking for the following:” A declaration that by virtue of section 287(1) of the Nigerian Constitution, 1999, Buhari, the CBN and Malami have a constitutional duty to obey and enforce any decisions and orders of the Supreme Court, particularly the order allowing the use of old N200, N500 and N1,000 banknotes;

An order restraining and stopping the CBN from carrying out and giving effect to the directive of the President directing and approving that the old N500 and N1,000 banknotes are no longer legal tender and the old N200 banknote will cease to be legal tender on April 10, 2023, in compliance with the order of the Supreme Court of Nigeria made on February 8, 2023, in the Suit Number SC/CV/162/2023 – Attorney General of Kaduna State & two Ors v. Attorney General of the Federation;

An order for the CBN to direct all commercial banks in Nigeria to accept and give out the old N200, N500, and N1,000 banknotes as legal tender concurrently along with the new banknotes of the same denomination in line with the order of the Supreme Court.

No date has been fixed for the hearing of the suit.


Join WhatApp Group