The Ondo State Government has filed a suit before the Supreme Court of Nigeria, Abuja against the Federal Government in respect of the directive issued through the Central Bank of Nigeria limiting daily cash withdrawals from banks.
In an originating summon filed and signed by the Attorney General of Ondo State, Sir Charles Titiloye Ksm FCArb, on Thursday, Ondo state Government is praying the Supreme Court to stop the implementation of the directive issued by Federal Government through the Central Bank of Nigeria on limitation of daily cash withdrawals from banks which has totally paralysed and brought to a standstill the activities of Ondo state Government and has adversely affected economic and commercial activities in the state.
Ondo state Government contended that the guideline on daily maximum cash withdrawal made by Federal Government is an infraction on the legal rights of Ondo State Government and its citizens to access funds for execution of developmental projects, small credit facilities to petty traders (who have no account in banks) and highly detrimental to daily commercial activities in the state.
Ondo State Government urged the Supreme Court to declare that the Federal Government cannot by directive issued through Central Bank of Nigeria, amend or vary an existing Act of National Assembly particularly Section 2 of Money Laundering Act which relates specifically to limitations on cash withdrawals for individual and Corporate organisation to Five (5) million Naira and Ten (10) million Naira respectively. The updated guidelines issued by CBN now places maximum withdrawal for individual and corporate organisation at N500,000 and Five (5) Million Naira respectively.
Ondo state Government is asking the Supreme Court to decide whether the guidelines issued by Federal Government on maximum daily cash withdrawal and the continuous suffering and hardship caused by the implementation of the said policy is not in conflict with the express provision of section 2 of the Money Laundering Act, Sections 20, 39 and 42 of the Central Bank of Nigeria Act.
Ondo state Government averred that while it has more than 149 Ministries, Departments and Agencies to run on daily basis in a state with more than three (3) million people, less than five hundred thousand people have bank accounts through which bank transfers can be made. Consequently the policy of the Federal Government has totally paralysed the economy of the state.
Ondo state Government averred that citizens of Ondo state now spend precious hours at Banks’ ATM waiting to collect the new Naira note while citizens in the rural areas and villages without Banks and internet facilities have been shut out from receiving or transferring money to meet their daily economic needs
The Government urged the Supreme Court to intervene and stop further implementation of the said Federal Government policy.
In a related case, Ondo state Government filed an application before the Supreme Court seeking to join the suit instituted by Zamfara, Kaduna and Kogi states on the timeframe within which citizens and Government can swap the old Naira Note for the new Naira note. In a motion on notice signed and filed on Thursday 9th of February, 2023, Sir Charles Titiloye Ksm FCArb, the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Ondo State prayed the Supreme Court to join Ondo state Government in the earlier suit filed by the said three states challenging the 10th of February, 2023 deadline for change of Old Naira Notes for New Naira notes by the Central Bank of Nigeria.
The Attorney General noted that Ondo State Government and people are currently experiencing the same excruciating economic and financial hardship occasion by the said incoherent demonetization policy currently introduced by the Federal Government through the Central Bank of Nigeria.
Furthermore, the Kano state Government led by Abdullahi Ganduje has on Thursday evening filed a suit against the Federal Government at the Supreme Court in respect of the naira redesign policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria.
In suit number: SC/CS/200/2023, sighted by The PUNCH, the Kano State Attorney General, through his Counsel, Sunusi Musa, SAN, is asking the apex court to declare that the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), cannot unilaterally direct the CBN to recall the now-old N200, N500 and N1,000 banknotes without recourse to the Federal Executive Council and National Economic Council, respectively.
The Kano government is praying a mandatory order seeking a reversal of the Federal Government policy to recall the N200, N500 and N1,000 notes from circulation due to the policy affecting the economic well-being of over 20 million Kano citizens.
The applicant is also seeking for mandatory order, compelling the Federal Government to reverse the naira redesign policy for alleged failure to comply with 1999 Constitution (as amended).
The applicant is similarly praying for mandatory seeking the apex court to compel the Federal Government to reverse the cash swap policy for allegedly not complying with the 1999 constitution and other extant legislation.
“A Declaration that the combined reading of the provisions of the section 148(2) of 1999 constitution and Part 1, and Paragraph 19 of the Third Schedule thereof, the President cannot unilaterally without recourse to the Federal Executive Council and National Economic Council respectively give approval to the Central Bank of Nigeria for the implementation of cash withdrawal limit pursuant to the demonetization economic policy of the Federal Government of Nigeria,” the suit read.
In the originating summon, the Kano State Government, further prayed for a declaration, that the president’s directive to the CBN for the implementation of cash withdrawal limits policy pursuant to the demonetisation of Federal Republic of Nigeria without recourse to FEC and NEC respectively is unconstitutional, illegal null and void.
The applicant is also praying for a mandatory order reversing the policy of the Federal Government on the recall of the old currency notes for allegedly failure to comply with the provisions of Constituiton and other extant legislation.
Recall that on Wednesday, the Supreme Court gave an interim order to the CBN not to end the use of old naira notes on February 10, 2023 in an ex-parte application by the three applicant states including Kaduna, Kogi and Zamfara.
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