Naira redesign: S’court reprimands Buhari, says president;s disobedience of court order a demonstration of autocracy
The supreme court says the failure of President Muhammadu Buhari to obey the order restraining the federal government from implementing the deadline on old naira notes is a demonstration of autocracy.
Delivering judgment on Friday in a suit instituted by three states, the court held that the policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) was done in breach of relevant laws.
The federal government had, in its preliminary objection, argued that the supreme court lacks the jurisdiction to entertain the matter and that the suit ought to have been filed before a federal high court.
Abubakar Malami, the attorney-general of the federation (AGF), also said the plaintiffs failed to join the CBN in the suit.
ISSUE OF JURISDICTION
Delivering an unanimous judgment, the seven-member panel held that the apex court has the jurisdiction to hear the suit.
The court held that the suit is a dispute between the federating units and the federation.
The apex court further invalidated the argument of the defendants that queried the none joinder of the CBN as a party in the suit.
The court held that there was no need to join the CBN in the suit since the apex bank got its directive from the president.
“The CBN has no power to introduce new notes into the system without a directive of the president,” the court held.
The court cited the portion of President Buhari’s speech wherein he admitted to issuing the directive.
“A suit of this manner can only be entertained by the supreme court,” the court held.
“All the preliminary objections lack merit and are hereby dismissed.”
‘BUHARI FAILED TO CONSULT STAKEHOLDERS’
The supreme court justices agreed with the plaintiffs that the president failed to consult with relevant stakeholders before passing his directive to the CBN.
The court held that the president ought to have consulted before “exercising his executive powers of such magnitude”.
“It is obvious that the president did not consult with the council of states, the national economic council and other stakeholders including the national security council,” the court held.
“The duty is implicit in Section 5 of the Constitution that makes the president an agent of the federation.”
The apex court also agreed that the federal government failed to give adequate notice for the implementation of the new policy.
“There is nothing to show any formal public notice issued to states,” the court held.
“The notice was given by way of press remarks. It is this press remarks the defendants relied on to say that they gave sufficient notice.”
The court said a mere press statement “cannot qualify as a notice under 20(3) of the CBN Act”.
The notice, the court held, ought to exclude the 50 days between the announcement and the unveiling.
“I hold that no reasonable notice was given. Therefore the directive is invalid and the implementation a nullity,” the court said.
CONTEMPT OF COURT
The court reprimanded the president for making a declaration on February 16 that only the old N200 note remains valid legal tender despite the interim order made on February 8.
Owing to the disobedience to the order, the court held that the federal government ought not to be heard in the suit.
“It is not in doubt that the president refused to comply with the order of the court that the old 200, 500, and 1,000 naira notes should continue to be legal tender.
“Interestingly, there is even nothing to show that the president’s directive for the release of N200 notes was implemented.
“I agree that the first defendant ought not to be heard when the president has refused to obey the authority of this court.
“Disobedience of order of court shows the country’s democracy a mere pretension and now replaced by autocracy. This suit is meritorious.”
Consequently, the court granted all the reliefs sought by the plaintiffs.
The court also ordered that the old currency should remain legal tender until December 31, 2023.
Yusuf Abba: Kwankwaso’s PA, son-in-law who will be governor of Kano
Yusuf Kabir Abba was declared the winner of the 2023 governorship election in Kano state on Monday. The flagbearer of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) beat his arc-rival, Yusuf Gawuna of the All Progressives Congress (APC), to claim victory in the state.
From personal assistant to governor-elect — who is Yusuf Abba, the man who will become Kano governor?
Abba was born in the year Nigeria became a republic, in 1963. He was born on January 5, 1963 in Gaya LGA of Kano state. He would later attend Sumaila primary school and government secondary school Lautai in the old Kano state.
His secondary education was in Gumel LGA, which is now in Jigawa State. Upon graduation from government secondary school in 1980, he went on to the federal polytechnic, Mubi, where he obtained his national diploma in civil engineering in 1985.
He went on to specialise in water resources/environmental engineering in 1989 at Kaduna Polytechnic. Upon graduation, he served in the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) at Kaduna Environmental Protection Agency from 1989 to 1990.
QUICK FACT: On May 29, 2023, he will become the second Water Engineer to be governor of Kano state in the fourth republic.
GOVERNOR’S PA WHO WILL BECOME GOVERNOR
Abba might be the first personal assistant (PA) to a fourth republic governor to become governor. Abba served as PA to Rabiu Kwankwaso, the presidential candidate of the NNPP, while he was governor of Kano state from 1999 to 2003.
He also served in the same capacity and also as special assistant to Kwankwaso, in his role as minister of defence in the Olusegun Obasanjo cabinet from 2003 to 2007.
In a 2019 interview with Daily Trust, Abba said he served as PA to Kwankwaso for 12 years, from 1999 to 2011. In 2011, he served in Kwankwaso’s government as a private secretary to the government and was later appointed commissioner for works, housing and transport.
Abba has been with Kwankwaso for 37 years, serving in different capacities.
“Kwankwaso is my leader. I worked with Kwankwaso even when I was in the civil service in the state. I worked under him and have been with him for almost 33 years,” Abba said in 2019.
“In all these years, he has been over and above me so I know him to be my leader, my oga! So people shouldn’t be surprised if I give him the utmost respect and utmost trust. I was his PA during his first tenure from 1999 to 2011”.
KWANKWASO’S SON-IN-LAW-TURNED AVENGER
In 2014, Kwankwaso supported his deputy, Abdullahi Ganduje, in becoming the governor of Kano state. In a few months after the election, both men fell out. Ganduje launched what became a clear attack on Kwankwaso and the Kwankwasiyya movement.
By 2019, Kwankwaso mobilised against Ganduje and supported Yusuf Abba in unseating Ganduje. Abba went on to win the election in the first round, but his victory was not to be as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared a supplementary election in 28 of 44 local government areas in the state.
Following the conduct of the supplementary poll, Ganduje was declared the winner with less than 9,000 votes ahead of Abba, who had initially won with over 26,000 votes.
Abba, who is also married to Kwankwaso’s niece, moved with Kwankwaso to the New Nigeria Peoples Party, where they both became flagbearers for presidential and gubernatorial elections. Both men won the elections in the state, but Kwankwaso lost the presidential poll.
As Kwankwaso’s loyalist and son-in-law, Abba will be putting an end to Ganduje’s reign in the state, with expectations that he would be avenging the Kwankwasiyya movement.
He has however said he will not be tied to Kwankwaso’s apron, but be a man for himself, stating that he will only take advice from the former governor.
“He will never interfere in my work. Secondly, if he interferes, in terms of advice, I know that where I go correctly he will encourage me to put in more and where I go wrong he will correct me and tell me what to do. But as far as issues of governance are concerned, believe me, sincerely he is not going to interfere,” he had said.
APC’s Reverend Father Alia wins Benue guber election
Hyacinth Alia, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has won the Benue state governorship election.
Alia, a reverend father, garnered 473,933 votes to defeat Titus Uba, the candidate of the Peoples Democracy Party (PDP), who polled 223,913 votes, to be declared the winner on Monday.
Herman Hembe of the Labour Party (LP) scored 41,881 votes.
Faruk Kuta, vice chancellor of the Federal University of Technology, Minna, and the returning officer of the Benue state gubernatorial election, announced the results on Monday at the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) collation centre in Makurdi, the state’s capital.
Out of the 23 LGAs in Benue, Alia secured 17, while Uba clinched four and Hembe got one.
TheCable had reported how elections were rescheduled in Kwande LGA over following a mix-up of ballot papers on Saturday.
However, Kuta, said Alia was declared the winner in line with the electoral act and the INEC guidelines.
The law provides for a winner to be declared if the margin of lead of the candidate surpasses the number of registered voters or those who have collected their permanent voter’s cards (PVCs) in an LGA.
Breaking: APC’s Otu wins Cross River governorship election
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has declared Senator Bassey Otu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) winner of the governorship election in Cross River State.
He defeated Sandy Ojang Onor of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Labour Party.
Otu polled 258,619 votes to emerge winner of the election, while Onor of the PDP scored 179, 636 votes to come second, while Labour Party’s candidate polled 5,957 votes.
Eleven political parties contested the election in Cross River State.
See full results below:
Total registered voters: 1, 766,460
Total Voters Accredited: 466, 294
PDP: 179, 636
Valid Vote: 451, 933
Rejected votes: 8923
Total valid votes: 460826
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