As the crisis of naira redesign persists, the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and minister of justice, Abubakar Malami, has dismissed claims that the president, Muhammadu Buhari overruled the Supreme Court order on the monetary policy introduced by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
Malami, who disclosed this on Thursday during the weekly ministerial briefing organised by the presidential communication team at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, said no Nigerian has taken the old notes to the bank and was rejected, even as he insisted that the administration had not breached the apex court.
According to him, the monetary policy was intended to stop moneybags from hijacking the general election, adding that no president had sanitised the electoral process like Buhari.
“Your question can best be answered within the context of what constitutes the rule of law in the Nigerian situation. Where an order is made by a court, you have multiple options, but let me state before even addressing the issue of the options available at our disposal as a government.
“The fact, clearly, that we are not in breach of any order made by the court, inclusive of any order associated with the naira redesign. We are not in breach. I believe , I’m not a banker, but you have not gone to establish which bank is it that you have gone to present a N1,000 or N500 notes that has been rejected. So we are not breach.
“But then, assuming we are in breach, the fact remains that this matter is sub-judice, as you rightly know. It’s being contested before the Supreme Court and when an order is made, you have multiple options within the context of the rule of law.
“One, you are entitled as a matter of right, if the facts and evidence support your position, to apply for setting it aside. The position of the law, legal jurisprudence is clear, once you are attacking and you are seeking a setting aside of an existing order of the court, cannot be said to be operating in breach when you presented your application for setting aside.
“If the court is not an apex court, you equally have a right of appeal and support the right of appeal with an application for stay of execution order.
“So, the bottom line of what I’m trying to state, if the matter is sub-judice and within the context of the rule of law, we are doing the needful as a government, in terms of ensuring that the right of the government, within the context of the naira redesign, is protected. So, we are not in breach,” the AGF said.