Two Abuja-based legal practitioners have dragged President Muhammadu Buhari, the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, and five others before a Federal High Court in Abuja seeking enforcement of their fundamental rights against the newly introduced cashless policy.
The two lawyers, Ayodele Ademiluyi and Aare Oladotun Hassan are praying the court to compel the CBN to act in compliance with Section 22 of its Act and Section 1 (3) of the Banks and other Financial Institutions Act 2020 to allow them and entire Nigerians redeem old naira notes with new ones beyond February 10 and 17, 2023.
The plaintiffs applied for another order stopping Buhari, CBN and other defendants from enforcing the February 10 deadline until such a period when the new naira notes have been made available to the vast majority of Nigerians.
Apart from President Buhari and CBN, other defendants in the fresh suit are the Attorney General of the Federation AGF, Minister of Finance, and Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele.
The lawyers who claimed that the implementation of the cashless policy without adequate arrangements have brought untold hardships on them and their families sought an order of the court compelling the defendants to pay them a sum of N500 million as general and exemplary damages for the hardship suffered in the wake of the policy.
The suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/183/2023 was instituted on behalf of themselves.
In their 16-paragraph affidavit in support of the originating summons, the plaintiffs averred that the declaration of a deadline by CBN for the exchange of the old naira notes with new ones is a contributing factor to the widespread fuel scarcity which has made life unbearable for the vast majority of Nigerians.
The affidavit deposed to by Ayodele Ademiluyi contended that the circulation of the new naira notes was not comprehensive as many of the Automated Teller Machines, ATMs, of commercial banks are not dispensing the new naira notes.
They further averred that unless the court intervenes, the action of Godwin Emefiele would continue to violate the provisions of the CBN Act in setting an exchange deadline without reasonable notice.
Meanwhile, no date has yet been fixed for hearing of the suit.